National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), once again has been recently recognized by the pre-eminent international finance magazine "Euromoney" as the “Best Bank for 2009” at the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2009 Middle East Dinner held recently in Doha. IBQ’s Managing Director George Nasra received the award in Doha on behalf of NBK.
Euromoney noted that the Kuwait financial sector had been through a very tough 12 months. "One lender, Gulf Bank suffered a run after it revealed losses of $ 1.3 billion in derivatives trades, caused by the fall of the euro against the dollar. Then two of the country's best-known investment firms, Global Investment House and Investment Dar, defaulted on their debt. This has made the outlook on Kuwait's finance industry uncertain at best. However, NBK yet again received a ringing endorsement as the country's number one bank from Euromoney”, stated the international publication.
Euromoney went on to say: "Without doubt, though, the best financial institution in the country remains NBK, which once again wins the best bank award. Even in the midst of the crisis the bank continues to impress. "As always the bottom line continued to be a key differentiator for in assessing NBK and its competitors, "the bank continues to make good profits. Last year it posted a profit of $ 925 million, though that compares with a profit of $ 991 million in 2007. The fall reflects the bank's decision to undertake sizeable voluntary provisions as a precautionary measure against the crisis"
Euromoney described NBK as "a firm that is uniquely recognized as one of a handful of Middle East banks that sets the standard for others to follow". In its summation of NBK's uniqueness and strength aspects, Euromoney further noted that “the impressive growth achieved by NBK Group during 2008 provides yet another evidence of the bank’s remarkable performance and capability to maintain its leading position despite current difficulties for international financial markets and the challenges of the global financial crisis".
In addition to already boasting the largest local branch network comprising 69 branches in Kuwait, NBK currently has the largest and widest overseas banking network encompassing 155 branches, representative offices and subsidiaries strategically located within 17 countries spread over four continents worldwide, including 10 countries in the Middle East.
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