Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s Group CEO
National Bank of Kuwait Group (NBK), the largest bank in Kuwait with the highest credit rating in the Middle East, reported net profits of USD 1,075 million (KD 301.7 million) for 2010, up 14% compared to the previous year. Total assets reached USD 46 billion (KD 12.9 billion) at the end of 2010 and shareholders’ equity rose to USD 7.4 billion (KD 2.1 billion). Other profitability indicators remained strong by regional and international standards: Return on Assets (ROA) was 2.4% while the Return on Equity (ROE) recorded 17.7% for the year.
Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer, stated that the USD 1,075 million record net profits achieved in 2010 continue to demonstrate NBK’s ability to deliver strong results despite the global financial crisis. “The strong growth in our net profits shows our ability to continue delivering outstanding results into the future and confirms that our strategy remains solid with focus on core business activities in and outside Kuwait”.
Dabdoub also highlighted that NBK sustained exceptional asset quality levels through the years which evidence the progressive yet conservative strategy, sound risk management policies, and excellent governance. “We have over the years maintained the highest asset quality indicators by regional and international standards, despite the ongoing economic challenges”. Dabdoub also added that the long track record of NBK’s remarkable asset quality, alongside other factors including resilient profitability and stable and strong management team, earned the bank its 38th ranking among the world’s 50 safest banks by Global Finance for the second consecutive year. NBK also maintained its credit ratings as the top rated bank in the Middle East by all top three rating agencies and was recognized as the “Best bank in the Middle East” by Euromoney, The Banker and Global Finance in 2010.
“Our strategy in Kuwait and the MENA region was complemented in 2010 by receiving a license to start operations in Syria, another large market with significant potential. In addition we increased our stake in Boubyan Bank to 47%, strengthening our market position in the Islamic banking segment in Kuwait”, Dabdoub added. NBK’s operations outside Kuwait remained very strong in 2010 contributing more than 20% of the bank’s profits.
NBK’s Board of Directors has recommended the distribution of a cash dividend equivalent to 40% of the nominal value of the share (40 fils per share). The board also recommended a bonus share distribution of 10% (10 shares for every 100 shares) to shareholders on record at the time of the General Assembly meeting.
NBK is the highest rated bank in the Middle East by Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Ratings. The Bank’s ratings are supported by its strong capitalization, high asset quality, prudent lending, and its much disciplined approach to risk management, in addition to its experienced and highly qualified management team. NBK currently enjoys the largest presence in Kuwait with 70 branches, as well as a growing regional and international network comprising an additional 107 branches covering 16 countries in both the MENA region and the world’s leading financial centers including London, Paris, New York, Singapore, Geneva, China and Vietnam.