Arabian Business: The recognition is based on the remarkable achievements scored by NBK despite the global financial crisis. National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the leading bank in Kuwait and the highest rated in the Middle East, has been recently awarded the "Bank of the Year" for 2009 award by the prestigious Arabian Business Magazine for its continued strength in the face of adversity as well as its capability to maintain its leading franchise in Kuwait and the region. NBK-Kuwait CEO, Isam Al Sager received from of ITP Holding Inc. CEO, Walid Akkawi at a special awarding ceremony held at Al Raya Ballroom- Courtyard Marriot Hotel and attended by a host of governmental and business leaders as well as media representatives. Commenting on the occasion, Isam Al-Sager said that winning the prestigious award of "Bank of the Year" for 2009 by the Arabian Business Magazine provides a source of immense gratification and pride. This award is also a new recognition of NBK's unique and leading position in the market as well as its impressive achievements and management expertise". The Arabian Business noted that the recognition of NBK as "Bank of the Year" for 2009 was based on the remarkable achievements scored by the bank and its capability to maintain the leading position it enjoys both in the domestic market and regionally despite the ramifications of the global financial crisis, and in view of its impressive recent growth. In addition to boasting Kuwait’s largest local branch network comprising more than 70 branches in Kuwait, NBK currently has the largest and widest overseas banking network encompassing 175 branches, representative offices and subsidiaries strategically located in 17 countries spread over four continents, including 10 countries in the Middle East. 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. NBK was also named twice in 2009 as one of the top 50 safest banks in the world.