National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest Kuwaiti bank and the highest-rated in the Middle East, reported net profits of USD 534.4 million (KD 146.7 million) for the first half of 2011 compared with USD 529.2 million (KD 145.2) for the same period last year.
As of end of June 2011, NBK Group’s total assets stood at USD 49.9 billion (KD 13.7 billion), total shareholders’ equity grew to USD 8.0 billion (KD 2.2 billion). NBK Group’s net operating income grew at 6% YoY reaching USD 968.9 million (KD 265.9 million). Asset quality indicators remained exceptionally strong by regional and international standards with NPLs/Gross loans ratio dropping to 1.61% and coverage ratio reaching 221.6% as of end of June 2011.
Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said “The consistency of our strong performance and resilient profitability is a testimony to our approach of focusing on core banking business in the region.” Dabdoub added that the current results were achieved despite a weakening operating environment and its impact on overall economic activity.
“NBK’s regional ambitions remain intact. In light of the ongoing operating challenges in the Arab world, we continue to monitor our operations in the region very closely and were able to quantify our risks. We remain optimistic about the longer term outcomes of our regional expansion strategy,” Dabdoub added.
Dabdoub emphasized NBK’s successful move into Islamic banking through the acquisition of a strategic stake in Boubyan Bank. “Boubyan’s contribution will continue to strengthen NBK’s market positioning in Kuwait and will help us further diversify our income sources.”
Dabdoub also highlighted that NBK’s attributes, along with its clear strategic vision, helped the bank maintain its strong financial position through different crises and earned it international recognition, the latest being the “Best Bank in the Middle East” award for 2011 from both Euromoney and Global Finance magazines.
NBK continues to enjoy the widest banking presence in Kuwait with 71 branches, which together with its growing international presence totals 177 branches worldwide. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world’s leading financial centers including London, Paris, Geneva, New York and Singapore, as well as China (Shanghai) and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City). Meanwhile, regional coverage extends to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey.
NBK has consistently been awarded the highest credit rating of all banks in the region by Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Ratings. The Bank’s ratings are supported by its high capitalization, prudent lending policies, and its disciplined approach to risk management, in addition to its recognized and very stable management team.