Omar K. Alghanim, Gulf Bank’s Chairman
Gulf Bank announced today that Fitch Ratings, one of the world’s leading international credit rating agencies, has upgraded the Bank’s Viability Ratings to 'bb-' from 'b+'. The Bank’s other ratings have been affirmed at Long-term Issuer Default (IDR) 'A+', Short-term IDR 'F1', Support Rating '1' and Support Rating Floor ‘A+'. The Outlook on the Long-term IDR is Stable.
Gulf Bank’s Viability Ratings upgrade reflects the Bank’s sustained improvement in asset quality and capitalisation since 2009, while Fitch’s affirmation of Long- and Short-Term IDRs, Support Rating and Support Rating Floor, reflect Gulf Bank’s systemic importance as the third-largest Bank by overall assets in the Kuwaiti market.
Omar K. Alghanim, Gulf Bank’s Chairman, said: “Today’s credit ratings upgrade underlines Gulf Bank’s progress and reflects our consistent financial performance and clear objective to generate growth across our core corporate banking and consumer businesses. The Bank maintains a cautiously optimistic outlook for the coming period, with anticipated improvement in Kuwait’s general economic situation and the expected execution of several vital projects provided for in the strategic plan.”
Gulf Bank recently posted a net profit of KD 7.9 million for the first quarter of 2013, against KD 7.4 million for the same period last year. As of end of March 2013, the Bank’s total assets were KD 4,966 million, deposits stood at KD 4,178 million and total shareholders’ equity was KD 460 million. This year, Bank’s long-term credit rating was upgraded from BBB to BBB+ with a positive outlook by Standard & Poor's (S&P) in March. This was followed by an upgrade in outlook from “Stable” to “Positive” from Moody's Investors Service.