Published — Tuesday 22 January 2013
Last update 22 January 2013 12:53 am
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest Kuwaiti bank and the highest-rated in the Middle East, reported net profits of $ 1.09 billion (KD 305.1 million) for the year 2012 compared with $ 1.08 billion (KD 302.4 million) for 2011.
At year-end, NBK Group’s total assets reached $ 58.4 billion (KD 16.4 billion) up from $ 48.5 billion (KD 13.6 billion) in 2011, while total group shareholders’ equity reached $ 8.2 billion (KD 2.3 billion), up 6 percent year on year.
Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s Group CEO, said “NBK managed to deliver a strong set of results for the year notwithstanding the ongoing challenges.”
The CEO said 2012 was a turbulent year for the banking sector in Kuwait as the operating environment remained stagnant.
Government spending was insufficient and the tendering of new projects remained behind schedule leading to slower economic activity and an underperforming stock market, he said.
Additionally, he said the geopolitical tensions led to further pressures on the business sentiment both locally and in the region.
Dabdoub said 2012 was a remarkable year on the strategic level.
During the year, NBK continued to deliver on its income diversification efforts through a major strategic move increasing its stake in Boubyan Bank to 58.4 percent transforming it into a subsidiary of NBK group.
This move is key to strengthening our presence in Kuwait’s Islamic banking market and opens new growth prospects for the group.
Additionally, NBK continued to strengthen its positioning in its regional and international markets with more focus on GCC operations.
NBK’s international banking profits recorded a year-on-year growth of 22.7 percent in 2012.
Dabdoub stressed on NBK’s focus on core banking operations both in Kuwait and regionally.
NBK’s total operating income remained strong at $ 2.311 billion (KD 650 million) for the year up from $ 1.921 billion (KD 540 million) a year earlier.
The bank’s total operating income in 2012 includes revaluation gains of $ 290 million (KD 81.5 million) resulting from the consolidation of Boubyan Bank.
NBK has the widest banking presence in Kuwait with 64 branches, which together with its growing international presence totals 173 branches worldwide.
NBK’s international presence spans many of the world’s leading financial centers including London, Paris, Geneva, New York and Singapore, as well as China (Shanghai). Meanwhile, regional coverage extends to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey.
NBK continues to collectively enjoy the highest ratings among all banks in the Middle East from the three international rating agencies; Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s.
The bank’s ratings are supported by its high capitalization, prudent lending policies, and its disciplined approach to risk management, in addition to its highly recognized and very stable management team.
In 2012, NBK was also named among Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world for the sixth consecutive time.