National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), for the fifth consecutive time, has been listed among the 50 safest banks in the world. NBK moved up 14 spots, to rank 33 from last year’s 47, illustrating the success of the bank’s conservative strategy, prudent risk management and dedication to service excellence.
The rankings, compiled by international finance magazine, Global finance, are based on evaluations of long-term credit ratings—from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings, and total assets of the 500 largest banks worldwide. NBK ranked above several international financial heavyweights including Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays Group, Crédit Agricole and Bank of Tokyo, as well as being the only bank from Kuwait.
"Counterparty creditworthiness has seldom been of more concern to companies and investors worldwide," said Global Finance publisher Joseph D. Giarraputo in a press release announcing the World's 50 Safest Banks: April 2012. "Knowing how their counterparties are faring in the face of global economic uncertainty is key. This ranking helps companies and investors to get a view on the relative strength of their counterparties-and global financial institutions."
NBK has consistently been awarded the highest credit ratings of all banks in the region by the major international rating agencies: Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings. In December 2011, global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s affirmed National Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) long term credit rating at A+ and determined the bank’s outlook is stable.
Following a review of all banks and financial institutions in the MENA region, Standard & Poor’s commended NBK’s asset quality and proven track record. “NBK’s balance sheet size and business position enable it to cherry-pick the highest-quality customers. Additionally, we note that the bank’s asset quality has proven resilient so far, unlike most of its domestic peers,” the S&P noted in the review of NBK.