Fitch Ratings, a leading international credit rating agency, has upgraded Gulf Bank’s Individual Ratings to 'D/E' from 'F'. The Bank’s other ratings have been affirmed at Long-term Issuer Default (IDR) 'A+', Short-term IDR 'F1', Support '1' and Support Rating Floor ‘A+'. The Outlook on the Long-term IDR is Stable. Gulf Bank is the first bank in the GCC to get an upgrade since 2009.
The upgrade of Gulf Bank’s ratings reflects improvements in risk management systems and controls combined with progress in strengthening the balance sheet and a greater focus on its core business activities. Fitch’s affirmation of the Bank’s long and short-term IDRs mirror the market’s optimism.
Mr. Michel Accad, Gulf Bank’s CEO & CGM, said: “The improvement in our rating shows that our strategy of focusing on providing superior banking services and solutions is working. It also highlights our committed strategy for focused growth across consumer and corporate banking. The Bank maintains an optimistic outlook for the coming period, with anticipated improvement in the general economic conditions in Kuwait, and the expected execution of several vital projects provided for in the strategic plan.”
Gulf Bank recently posted an operating profit of KD 44.3 million for the first quarter of 2010, compared to KD 15.6 million for the corresponding period of 2009.