Dabdoub: a strong evident that our regional expansion policy is successful and we will further expand our operation in the Kingdom of Bahrain to provide the best services to our customersNational Bank of Kuwait – Kingdom of Bahrain, a branch of NBK Group announced record net profits of USD 88.9 million (BHD 33.5 million) in the first half of 2009 compared with USD 57.1 million (BHD 21.6 million) in the same period of 2008, an increase of 55% over last year. The Bank's performance remains solid and impressive given the challenging environment for financial and non-financial institutions worldwide.
Ali Fardan, NBK Bahrain General Manager, said “this strong performance attests to the solid foundations on which the bank was built. NBK Bahrain has been able to sail through the storm gripping global and regional financial markets unscathed, as we have consistently focused on our core business and ways to diversify sources of income. The quality of our assets is beyond reproach, built on a culture of prudence and strict risk management practices, which continues to serve us well in times of calm and crisis. Meanwhile, we continue to grow our operations locally, constantly developing new products to serve our corporate and consumer customers.”
On another note, NBK Group CEO, Ibrahim S. Dabdoub said “we are proceeding steadily and successfully in our plans to transform the group into a truly regional player. Over the past year, we have concluded several significant deals, namely the acquisition of Al Watany Bank of Egypt, the acquisition of a 40% stake in Turkish Bank, the increase of our ownership stake to 30% in the International Bank of Qatar and the unveiling of our first branch in Dubai. This strategic initiative has become a main pillar on which we will build future growth, as we expect our international branches to contribute 50% of total group profits by the year 2015.”
Today, NBK enjoys the largest presence in Kuwait with 69 branches, as well as a growing regional and international network comprising an additional 90 branches covering 16 countries in both the MENA region and world financial centers such as London, Paris, New York and Singapore, as well as in China (Shanghai) and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City). The newly acquired presence in Egypt, Turkey and Dubai follows on the heels of NBK’s entry into Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Iraq. Together with an established presence in Bahrain and Lebanon, these new markets position NBK as a leading regional player. The Bank also enjoys added coverage in the Kuwaiti, Turkish, and Dubai markets through its investment arm, NBK Capital.Last year, NBK’s long-term credit rating was upgraded by FitchRatings to AA- from A+, a reflection of the Bank’s strong financial position, solid and sustainable growth as well as the success of its regional expansion strategy. This further consolidated the strong reputation NBK has enjoyed over the years, having been consistently awarded the highest credit rating of all banks in the region from Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch. The Bank’s rating is supported by its high capitalization, prudent lending policies and its disciplined approach to risk management, in addition to the recognized excellence of its very stable management.