Euromoney recognizes NBK as Best Bank in the Middle East at gala ceremony in Doha
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) was recognized by pre-eminent international finance magazine Euromoney as the “Best Bank in the Middle East” as well as “Best Bank in Kuwait” at the 2006 Euromoney Awards for Excellence Middle East Dinner in association with Qatar Financial Center (QFC) in Doha recently.
This is the second time in the past five years that NBK has won the regional award and the 13th consecutive year that it has won for “Best Bank in Kuwait”.
Euromoney Magazine CEO, Simon Brady, said that the National Bank of Kuwait has for many years been the dominant bank in Kuwait and it is now reaping the rewards of a strategy that has transformed it from a strong national bank into a genuinely international financial institution. “No bank in the region is held in as great respect by its competitors for the quality and range of its financial services and its ability to balance the aggressive search for new markets and products with the need for prudence in an often financially volatile region. A first class and extremely experienced management team have made the bank the highest rated and one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East”, he added.
Euromoney believes that the emerging trend in financial services in the region is one of further integration and those banks that execute this strategy will be the dominant players. This consideration weighed heavily on the deliberations of the awards panel. Euromoney noted that “evidence of NBK’s regional ambitions comes with the purchase of a 20% stake in the International Bank of Qatar, which includes full management control” and the fact that “NBK now has a presence in 7 countries in the Middle East and 14 in total.”
Commenting on this achievement, CEO of NBK, Ibrahim Dabdoub, said that “The Bank takes pride in this title which international banks used to earn for the last 5 years. NBK is off to a strong start of yet another exceptional year. During 2005 and the first quarter of 2006 our financial results were outstanding, with record profits, exceptionally strong growth and superior returns to shareholders.” The quality and diversification of our earnings, and superior credit ratings, the highest among all emerging market banks, are proof of our success in managing risk and cost."
Dabdoub also stressed on the success of NBK's ambitious regional strategy. "We are very pleased with the positive results from the new markets we entered recently, whether Qatar, Jordan, Iraq or Shanghai, alongside our established network in major financial centers. While our international network has long played an important role in supporting NBK's businesses from treasury, trade finance and corporate banking to private banking and wealth management, our expanding regional presence allows us to benefit from emerging growth opportunities in highly promising markets."
NBK has consistently earned the highest credit ratings in the Middle East by international agencies including Moody's, Standard & Poor's and FitchRatings. NBK's total assets reached USD 24.4 billion (KD 7.1 billion) at the end of March 2006, while its shareholders' equity stood at USD 2.4 billion (KD 706 million).
Regarded as the benchmark awards for financial services globally, the Euromoney Awards for Excellence are now in their 14th consecutive year. This year’s awards process, which began in April, attracted over 100 submissions from the region’s banks and brokerage houses competing for the 26 awards that Euromoney presented. Euromoney’s dedicated research team and awards panel then rated all the submissions on both quantitative and qualitative factors such as KPI’s, financial ratios and innovation over the 12 month period to decide the award winners.
“The growth in innovation and the sophistication of the Middle East is one of the most exciting growth areas of the international capital markets. Euromoney is delighted to be hosting its second annual event in Qatar, one of the world’s fastest growing economies and rapidly becoming one of the regions financial hubs." said Euromoney Magazine CEO Simon Brady.
Other winners that were announced included HSBC scooping the “Best Investment Bank in the Middle East “, SAMBA for “Best Bank in Saudi Arabia” and Qatar Commercial Bank for “Best Bank in Qatar”.
The final accolade of the evening was the QFC Euromoney Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Financial Services in the Middle East which was presented to Raymond Audi, Chairman of the Lebanon based Bank Audi.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)