NBK Annual General Assembly Meeting
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) held its annual General Assembly meeting today (Saturday 9th March 2013) at the bank’s headquarters.
Mohammad Abdul Rahman Al Bahar, NBK’s Chairman, stated that NBK Group managed to deliver a strong set of results for the year notwithstanding the ongoing challenges. Al Baharhighlighted 2012 was a remarkable year on the strategic level as NBK continued to strengthen its positioning in the local, regional and international markets.
NBK reported net profits of USD 1,085 million (KD 305.1 million) for the year 2012. At year end, NBK’s total assets reached USD 58.4 billion (KD 16.4 billion) up from USD 48.5 billion (KD 13.6 billion) in 2011, while total group shareholders’ equity reached USD 8.2 billion (KD 2.3 billion), up 6% year-on-year.
The General Assembly endorsed the recommendation of NBK’s Board of Directors to distribute a cash dividend equivalent to 30% of the nominal value of the share (30 fils per share) and bonus shares by 5% (5 shares for every 100 shares) to shareholders on record at the time of the General Assembly meeting.
Al Bahar stated that NBK Group achieved a strong performance in 2012 thanks to the bank’s financial resilience, clear strategy, conservative culture, and high professional standards.
“2012 was a challenging year for banks in Kuwait as the local operating environment remained stagnant. Additionally, the geopolitical tensions led to further pressures on the business sentiment both locally and in the region”, added Al Bahar.
Al Bahar, however, expressed a general improvement in the outlook for the local operating environment in 2013 as the government adopts a more dynamic fiscal policy, most importantly accelerating spending on mega projects.
Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer, noted that 2012 was a remarkable year on the strategic level for NBK. 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% transforming it into a subsidiary of NBK Group. This move is key to strengthening our presence in Kuwait’s growing 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% in 2012.
Dabdoub stressed that NBK has been able to considerably increase its share of the total banking sector profits in Kuwait throughout the global financial crisis. NBK’s share of the total banking sector profits increased from 32% in 2007 to 53% in 2012.
Highest rated in the Middle East
Dabdoub noted that NBK continues to hold the highest credit ratings among banks in the Middle East, with international rating agencies confirming the bank’s leading franchise, strong financial position, robust earnings capabilities and above peers asset quality. “We have over the years maintained the highest asset quality indicators by regional and international standards, despite the ongoing economic challenges,” Dabdoub added.
NBK is currently rated “Aa3” by Moody’s, “AA-” by Fitch Ratings and carries an “A+” rating from Standard and Poor’s. All NBK ratings have a stable outlook.
Added to this, NBK was also named among Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world for the seventh consecutive time.
Human Resources and CSR
NBK pioneered its corporate social responsibility programs in 2012, maintaining its position as the largest contributor to the Kuwait community in the private sector. NBK’s social initiatives and programs included a KD 4 million donation to develop NBK’s Children Hospital. The new center will expand the hospital’s ability to treat children with cancer and blood diseases.
In 2012, as part of its commitment to providing job opportunities to new graduates, NBK actively recruited skilled graduates and young nationals. NBK hired more than 300 nationals during 2012. “We believe that our people are our most valuable resource and to that end we’ve implemented numerous professional development and training programs while focusing recruiting efforts on hiring and training the country’s best and brightest minds.” Al Bahar said.
NBK’s corporate social responsibility program for 2012 covered a range of education, environment, health, philanthropic, social and sports-related initiatives.
NBK has the widest banking presence with 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.