National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) held its annual General Assembly meeting at the bank’s headquarters on 11 March 2012.
Nasser Al-Sayer, NBK Deputy Chairman, stated that NBK Group delivered success at every level despite a difficult year. “NBK Group achieved a strong performance thanks to the bank’s resilience, clear strategy, conservative culture, and high professional standards, all of which have limited the bank’s exposure to lower quality assets in and outside of Kuwait.”
The General Assembly endorsed the recommendation of NBK’s Board of Directors to distribute a cash dividend equivalent to 40% of the nominal value of the share (40 fils per share) and bonus shares by 10% (10 shares for every 100 shares) to shareholders on record at the time of the General Assembly meeting.
Strong Financial Performance
Al-Sayer stated that NBK has succeeded in achieving a net profit of KD 302.4 million (USD 1,086 million) during 2011, compared with KD 301.7 million (USD 1,083 million) in 2010. “NBK continued crossing the threshold of one billion dollar profits in 2011, which confirms NBK’s strength and ability to deliver strong results despite the crisis,” he noted.
NBK’s earnings reached 77 fils per share in 2011. NBK’s total assets increased 5.6%, reaching KD 13.6 billion and shareholders’ equity rose 4.5% to KD 2.2 billion by the end of 2011. Other profitability indicators remained strong by regional and international standards: Return on Assets (ROA) reached 2.25% while Return on Equity (ROE) recorded 14.6% for the year.
NBK Group’s net operating income grew by 8.4% Y-o-Y reaching USD 1,939 million (KD 540 million). Despite the ongoing turmoil in regional markets and the stagnant operating environment in Kuwait, NBK continued to maintain exceptionally strong asset quality indicators with NPLs/Gross loans ratio dropping to 1.55% as of year-end 2011 compared to 1.65% in 2010 and coverage ratio mounting to 243% in 2011 up from 209% in 2010.
In 2011, NBK began reaping the results of the strategic acquisition of a 47.3% stake in Boubyan Bank. ”Boubyan Bank showed significant improvement in profitability and marketshare following NBK’s strategic stake acquisition,” Al Sayer said. “NBK will continue supporting Boubyan Bank by providing world class talent and expertise though we remain committed to operating as two separate entities.”
Highest rated in the Middle East
Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer 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 has been recognized as the ‘Best Bank in the Middle East’ for the second consecutive year by the leading financial publications: Global Finance, EuroMoney and The Banker.
Human Resources and CSR
NBK has a long tradition of supporting social and community-oriented activities in the country, spending more than KD 30 million on a Corporate Social Responsibility program covering a range of initiatives. “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. NBK Group hired more than 1000 nationals of both genders during the past three years.” Al-Sayer noted.