National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest Kuwaiti bank and the highest-rated in the Middle East, reported net profits of USD 264 million (KD 76.3 million) for the first quarter of 2010 compared with USD 220 million (KD 63.5) for the same period in 2009, an increase of 20%.
As of end of March 2010, NBK Group’s total assets reached USD 44.1 billion (KD 12.7 billion), whilst total shareholders’ equity reached USD 6.2 billion (KD 1.8 billion). Profitability indicators remained strong with ROA reaching 2.4% and ROE 18.1%.
Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said “NBK’s solid performance in the first quarter of 2010 demonstrates our sound financial position. The 20% growth achieved in net profits is another strong indicator of our ability to consistently manage our operations both inside and outside Kuwait profitably.” Dabdoub added that NBK continues to benefit from its successful expansionary strategy, outstanding asset quality, strong capital position and sound risk management.
Dabdoub also highlighted that NBK’s regional expansion strategy continues to pay off, specifically in Egypt and Qatar. Meanwhile, the successful move into the Islamic banking space through the acquisition of a majority stake in Boubyan Bank will further enhance the Bank’s domestic market position.
Dabdoub attributed NBK’s strong performance to its conservative strategy, sound risk management, strong corporate governance and stable management team. These attributes also helped the bank advance its ranking to 38 on Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world. Global Finance also recently named NBK as the “Best Emerging Markets Bank in the Middle East and in Kuwait” for 2010, which comes as a further recognition and validation of the bank’s position among regional financial institutions.
NBK continues to enjoy the widest banking presence in Kuwait with 71 branches, which together with its growing international representation add up to 177 branches worldwide. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world financial centers including London, Paris, Geneva, New York and Singapore, as well as China (Shanghai) and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City). Meanwhile, the regional coverage extends to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey.