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Dabdoub: strong set of results notwithstanding the ongoing economic and political challenges
Total assets reached USD 58.4 billion and shareholders’ equity at USD 8.2 billion
Diversification strategy on track as we increased our stake in Boubyan and strengthened our regional operations
Improved outlook locally with the government’s intensions to accelerate spending
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest Kuwaiti bank and the highest-rated in the Middle East, reported net profits of USD 1,085 million (KD 305.1 million) for the year 2012 compared with USD 1,075 million (KD 302.4 million) for 2011.
At year end, NBK Group’s total assets reached USD 58.4 billion (KD 16.4 billion) up from USD 48.5 billion (KD 13.6 billion) in 2011, while total group shareholders’ equity reached USD 8.2 billion (KD 2.3 billion), up 6% year on year.
Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer said “NBK managed to deliver a strong set of results for the year notwithstanding the ongoing challenges. 2012 was a turbulent year for the banking sector in Kuwait as the operating environment remained stagnant. Government spending was insufficient and the tendering of new projects remained behind schedule leading to slower economic activity and an underperforming stock market. Additionally, the geopolitical tensions led to further pressures on the business sentiment both locally and in the region”.
Dabdoub expressed a general improvement in the outlook for the local operating environment in 2013 as the government adopts a more dynamic fiscal policy, most importantly accelerating spending on mega projects. “The recent directions from the highest authority and the proposed measures to boost economic activity and spur growth are expected to lift the overall sentiment and create new opportunities in the local economy”, Dabdoub added.
Dabdoub also highlighted 2012 was a remarkable year on the strategic level. During the year, NBK continued to deliver on its income diversification efforts through a major strategic move increasing its stake in Boubyan Bank to 58.4% transforming it into a subsidiary of NBK group. This move is key to strengthening our presence in Kuwait’s Islamic banking market and opens new growth prospects for the Group. Additionally, NBK continued to strengthen its positioning in its regional and international markets with more focus on GCC operations. NBK’s international banking profits recorded a year-on-year growth of 22.7% in 2012.
Dabdoub stressed on NBK’s focus on core banking operations both in Kuwait and regionally. NBK’s total operating income remained strong at USD 2,311 million (KD 650 million) for the year up from USD 1,921 million (KD 540 million) a year earlier. It is worth mentioning that NBK’s total operating income in 2012 includes revaluation gains of USD 290 million (KD 81.5 million) resulting from the consolidation of Boubyan Bank.
NBK has the widest banking presence in Kuwait with 64 branches, which together with its growing international presence totals 173 branches worldwide. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world’s leading financial centers including London, Paris, Geneva, New York and Singapore, as well as China (Shanghai). Meanwhile, regional coverage extends to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey.
NBK continues to collectively enjoy the highest ratings among all banks in the Middle East from the three international rating agencies; Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s. The Bank’s ratings are supported by its high capitalization, prudent lending policies, and its disciplined approach to risk management, in addition to its highly recognized and very stable management team. In 2012, NBK was also named among Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world for the sixth consecutive time.