NBK reports net profit of US$ 661 million for the first half of 2008
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest Kuwaiti bank and the highest-rated in the Middle East by the leading rating agencies, reported a record net profit of USD 661.3 million (KD 175 million) during the first six months of 2008. Compared with the same period last year, earnings were up by 21%. Return on assets for the period was 3.1% with return on equity at 23.5%, both demonstrating the strong earning power of NBK.
Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said “we are extremely pleased with the results we achieved during the first half of the year. This is another testament to our ability to create wealth for both our customers as well as our shareholders. Our proven business model, built on providing unmatched service quality through the most secure channels, continues to provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction. This is coupled with a farsighted strategic plan that has positioned the bank perfectly to benefit from the growing opportunities in the region.”
Dabdoub added “recent developments at the bank have made us even more confident of our ability to achieve similar robust results in the future, underpinned by the continued success of our stated strategy to transform the bank into a truly regional player. Over the past year, we have concluded several significant deals, namely the acquisition of Al Watany Bank of Egypt, the acquisition of a 40% stake in Turkish Bank and the increase of our ownership stake to 30% in the International Bank of Qatar. This strategic initiative has become a main pillar on which we will build future growth, as we expect our international branches to contribute 50% of total group profits by the year 2015, up from 25% at present.”
Today, NBK enjoys the largest presence in Kuwait with 65 branches, as well as a growing international representation in many of the world financial centers such as London, Paris, New York and Singapore, as well as in China (Shanghai) and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City). The new acquisitions in Egypt and Turkey follow on the heels of NBK’s entry into Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Iraq. Together with an established presence in Bahrain and Lebanon, these new markets position NBK as a leading regional player. The Bank also enjoys added coverage in the Kuwaiti, Turkish, and Dubai markets through its investment arm, NBK Capital.
In 2007 NBK’s long-term credit rating was upgraded by Moody’s to Aa2 from Aa3, and by Standard and Poor’s to A+ from A, a reflection of the Bank’s strong financial position and long term positive outlook. This further consolidated the strong reputation NBK has enjoyed over the years, having been consistently awarded the highest credit rating of all banks in the region from Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Ratings. The Bank’s rating is supported by its high capitalization, prudent lending policies and its systematic approach to risk management, in addition to the recognized excellence of its very stable management.
NBK's total assets were USD 42.4 billion (KD 11.2 billion) at the end of the first half, while shareholder equity grew to USD 6.1 billion (KD 1.6 billion).
© 2008 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)