Fitch IBCA has upgraded the long- and short-term foreign currency rating of National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) to A from A-minus, the international rating agency said.
Fitch, in a report from London dated Tuesday, June 12, said NBK was the leading bank in Kuwait with almost 35 percent of the system's total customer deposits and strong market shares in other banking products.
The step comes one day after Fitch upgraded Kuwait's long-term foreign currency rating to A+ on strong oil prices and a huge financial surplus.
NBK has reported record profits of $330 million in 2000, a 7.6 percent increase over the previous year. Profits in the first quarter of 2001 reached $90 million, a 13 percent rise.
Return on equity increased to 25.3 percent, while return on assets rose to 2.5 percent. The bank already boasted a record profit of $306 million in 1999, on top of $265 million the previous year. In 2000, it was declared the most profitable bank in the Arab world.
NBK was founded by Kuwait's leading merchant families in 1952 as the Gulf emirate's first commercial bank. Its total assets topped $12.4 billion at the end of last year. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)