Profits of National Bank of Kuwait up by 11%
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest Kuwaiti bank and reported Wednesday profits of $ 221 million for the first half of 2004, an increase of 11% over the same period last year.
NBK's return on assets improved to 2.3% and its return on equity reached 26%.
"The rise in profits was induced by strong results in all lines of business," said Ibrahim S. Dabdoub, Chief Executive officer. "NBK's solid performance reveals strong growth in non-interest income from fees and commissions, foreign-currency dealings, and investment activities. This underscores the Bank's long-standing strategy and success at diversifying income sources, with a focus on achieving healthy growth in value-added services, including investment banking and wealth management."
"Our strategy rests on three pillars: stable growth in income through diversification of activities; conservative culture and prudent risk management policies; and maintaining our lead in the region in terms of quality and breadth of services with an emphasis on using the latest banking technologies," adds Dabdoub. "We are very proud of our record of consistent growth in profits since the Bank's inception in 1952. Through focusing on evolving customer needs and regional expansion, we are confident we can continue to deliver strong results."
NBK lately acquired a stake in Grindlays Qatar Bank (Q.S.C.) in addition to management rights. It also inaugurated a new branch in Amman, Jordan. Both economies are among the fastest growing in the region and appear to be on the right track towards liberalization and reforms. These two markets strengthen NBK's international presence.
In addition to Jordan and Qatar, the Bank's international network spans London, New York, Geneva, Paris, Lebanon, Bahrain, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand. NBK had also announced plans to establish a new branch in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) later this year, in addition to a representative office in China.
Financial statements for the end of June 2004 round the bank's total assets at $ 19.9 billion and its shareholder's equity at $1.9 billion. Assets under management at NBK increased noticeably to $6.1 billion from $5.25 billion at the end of 2003. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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