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About

Profile

Since its incorporation in 1952 as Kuwait’s first indigenous bank and the first shareholding company in the entire Gulf region, NBK has been known as ‘The Bank You Know and Trust’. Thanks to the recognized excellence of its very stable management along with its unequivocal strategy, consistent profitability, high asset quality and strong capitalization, NBK, throughout the years, succeeded in building an advanced banking institution that offers a full spectrum of innovative and unrivalled financial and investment services and solutions to individual, corporate and institutional clients. NBK enjoys a dominant market share with a large and ever-expanding local and regional clientele. NBK also boasts Kuwait’s largest overseas branch network spanning many of the world financial and business centers.

Vision & Mission

Our vision

The NBK vision is to be the trusted bank of choice, building on our core values, people and expertise.

Our mission

To deliver world-class products and the highest quality service to our customers.

To attract, develop and retain the best banking talent in the region.

To support the communities in which we operate.

To adhere to our core values of passion, integrity, conservatism and knowledge.

In following our mission, we believe that we will be able to achieve consistently superior returns to our shareholders.

History

The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) was established in 1952 when a prominent Kuwaiti merchant went to the British Bank of the Middle East to open a letter of guarantee for the amount of 10,000 Indian rupees, (which is equivalent today to 750 KD). Much to his surprise, his request was rejected, on the condition that he provide a guarantor. This well-known merchant was shocked and appalled by the treatment that he had received, and news of this was all over town. 

This incident gave rise to the question and the idea of having a Kuwaiti bank with a mission to serve citizens’ needs as its priority, stimulate the economic growth of the country, and look after the savings of its clients. In fact, a meeting was held with the late Amir of Kuwait, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, who congratulated them on the idea and promised them his complete support. An Amiri decree was issued on May 19, 1952 to open the National Bank of Kuwait, and NBK started operations on November 15th 1952.

The founders of NBK are:

•    Khalid Zaid Al-Khalid
•    Ahmed Saud Al-Khaled
•    Khalifa Khalid Al-Ghunaim
•    Khaled Abdullatif Al-Hamad
•    Sayed Ali Sayed Sulieman Al-Rifai
•    Yousef Abdulziz Al-Fulaij
•    Yousef Ahmed Al-Ghanim
•    Mohamed Abdulmohsen Al-Khorafi
•    Abdulaziz Hamad Al-Sager


NBK was the first national bank in Kuwait and the entire Arabian Gulf region. All the board members and the founders of NBK were renowned merchants of Kuwaiti origin. NBK was established with a capital of 13,100 shares, each valued 1,000 Indian rupees – equivalent to 75 Kuwaiti dinars today. Over the years NBK has proved itself to be a financial leader in the Arab world.

 

Chairman's Statement


"Our diversification extends to the product and service offering, growth in existing geographies, pursuit of new business opportunities, and our commitment to a digital transformation that will position the Bank for future growth."


On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to introduce National Bank of Kuwait’s 2018 Annual Report. As this report shows, we enjoyed another robust year of performance, increasing the scale and contribution of our international operations while consolidating our leadership position in Kuwait. With an eye to the future, we achieved considerable progress in pursuit of our diversification strategy. Our diversification extends to the product and service offering, growth in existing geographies, our approach to new business opportunities, and our commitment to a digital transformation that will position the Bank for future growth.

Our operating environment
While the wider MENA region was characterised by geopolitical challenges, creating headwinds for economic growth, Kuwait was resilient to the volatility around it. As global oil prices improved in the first half of the year, they retreated just as quickly in the final quarter. The first uplift gave a major boost to GCC sovereign balance sheets – with improved fiscal positions, although these were somewhat dented by bearish market conditions later in the year. 

Wherever prices go, Kuwait’s lower fiscal break-even oil price gives much protection from future volatility, and this is borne out by the strong sovereign credit ratings that it has maintained. GDP growth is projected to reach 2.9% in 2018, with non-oil growth reaching 2.8%. The pipeline of scheduled project awards remains robust – and this will continue to be an important growth driver for the country. In that regard, the role that NBK will play in supporting economic growth and the agenda of ‘New Kuwait 2035’ is assured – we are the no.1 Bank for financing public and private projects, a status that we intend to maintain.  

Diversifying for the future
As you will discover in greater detail on later pages, 2018 was a year for diversification of our business, as well as for a focus on a digital transformation programme that will assure our future growth. Diversification can mean many things for a bank of our size. In this context, it extended to our products; our sources of income – particularly in international markets; and to our people, with important new senior hires made in 2018. All will be vital as we look to grasp the immense range of opportunities that are available to us. In technology and digitisation, we are already making considerable strides – particularly in terms of our internal operations, but also in the platforms and services that we are developing for our customers. Both will be essential as, in the future, we seek to compete with the world’s most advanced banks. 

Governance
We believe that good Corporate Governance is the key to maintaining the trust that our stakeholders place in us. In our view, solid governance is the cornerstone of a successful and sustainable bank. Throughout the year, we continued to develop and enhance our practices, completing periodic review and enhancement of our Board Charter and Corporate Governance policies, in addition to a periodic independent Board Effectiveness Evaluation. 

One of my own priorities is to foster the right dynamic on the Board, by having Directors with the appropriate range and balance of skills, expertise and attributes – to ensure constructive challenge and support of the executive team, led by our Group Chief Executive Officer.

The Board of Directors continued to perform its duties during the year, providing wise counsel and expert guidance to management. NBK’s Ordinary (AGM) and Extraordinary (EGM) General Assembly Meeting for FY2017 was held in March 2018, at which there was a quorum of 78.1%. The AGM and EGM approved the Board of Directors’ recommendation to distribute a cash dividend of KD 174.5 million or 30 fils per share, as well as distributing 5% bonus shares. The Board also gave approval to issue all types of bonds. The Board and its Committees held a total of 59 meetings during 2018.


"We enjoyed another robust year of performance, increasing the scale and contribution of our international operations while consolidating our leadership position in Kuwait."
 

Delivering shareholder value
The Board of Directors is pleased to recommend a dividend distribution of KD 214.3 million or 35 fils per share at the Annual General Meeting. The proposed cash dividend represents 57.8% of NBK Group’s Net Profit for 2018. The Board will also recommend the distribution of 5% bonus shares. In February 2018, the Bank announced an increase in its authorised share capital, from KD 600 million to KD 750 million. As at 31 December 2018, the Bank’s total market capitalisation was KD 5.1 billion.

With thanks
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to express our gratitude to NBK’s Executive Management, who have endeavoured to maintain the Bank’s strategic path while exploring new avenues for growth. The diversification success that was realised in 2018 owes a great deal to their leadership. I would like to thank our customers, across markets, who continue to place their trust in the Bank; and our employees – who make that trust possible. We are grateful to the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Capital Markets Authority, whose efforts are making our country and our industry increasingly attractive to investors. Lastly, my thanks to our shareholders for their ongoing support. We look forward to meeting and exceeding the expectations of all stakeholders in the years ahead.

Nasser Musaed Abdulla Al-Sayer
Chairman of the Board of Directors

Board Of Directors

Mr. Nasser Musaed Al-Sayer

Chairman

Mr. Ghassan Ahmed Al-Khalid

Vice Chairman

Mr. Hamad Abdul Aziz Al-Sager

Board Member

Mr. Yacoub Yousef Al-Fulaij

Board Member

Mr. Hamad Mohamed Al-Bahar

Board Member

Mr. Muthana Mohamed Ahmed Al-Hamad

Board Member

Mr. Haitham Sulaiman Al-Khaled

Board Member

Mr. Emad Mohamed Al-Bahar

Board Member

Executive Management

Mr. Isam J. Al-Sager

Group Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Shaikha K. Al-Bahar

Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Salah Y. Al-Fulaij

Chief Executive Officer – Kuwait

Mr. Sulaiman Barrak Al-Marzouq

Deputy CEO - Kuwait

Mr. Georges Richani

CEO - International Banking Group

Mr. Jim Murphy

Group Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Parkson Cheong

Group Chief Risk Officer

Mr. Emad Al-Ablani

General Manager – Group Human Resources

Mr. Malek Khalife

Head of Global Private Banking for NBK Group

Mr. Mohammed Al Othman

General Manager – Consumer Banking Group

Mr. Dimitrios Kokosioulis

Deputy Chief Executive Officer - IT & Operations Group

Mr. Pradeep Handa

General Manager – Foreign Corporate, Oil and Trade Finance Group

Dr. Soliman Abdel-Meguid

General Counsel – Head of Legal Affairs Group

Mr. Mohammed Al Kharafi

General Manager - Head of Operations

Mr. Mohammed Al Khonaini

General Manager - Head of Administration Services

Mr. Carl Ainger

Group Chief Internal Auditor

Mr. Deniz Cengiz

General Manager - Group Chief Digital Officer

Dr. Saade Chami

Group Chief Economist - Economic Research

Mr. Ezzat Hallal

Chief Engineer

Mr. Mahmoud Ezzedine

General Manager - Head of Private Banking Kuwait

Mr. Nikolaos Sfikas

General Manager - Chief Information Officer

Dr. Galal Wafaa

General Counsel - Head of Legal Affairs Group

Awards & Recognition

BANK LEVEL

Global Finance

2019

Best Bank for Liquidity Management in the Middle East

2019

Best Bank for Cash Management in Kuwait

2019

Best Emerging Markets Bank Worldwide

2019

The Innovators - Real Time End-To-End Payment Tracking on Customer Payment

2014 - 2019

Best Bank in Kuwait

2015 - 2019

Best Private Banking in Kuwait

2013 - 2019

Best Foreign Exchange Provider in Kuwait

2019

Best Foreign Exchange Provider in the Middle East

2018 - 2019

Best Mobile Banking App - Consumer in Kuwait

2018 - 2019

Best Consumer Digital Bank in Kuwait

2018

Best in Mobile Banking - Consumer in Kuwait

2008 - 2018

Best Trade Finance Bank in Kuwait

2006 - 2018

World’s Top 50 Safest Banks for 13 consecutive times

2013 - 2017

Best Foreign Exchange Provider in the Middle East

2010 – 2016

Best Emerging Market Bank in Kuwait

2016

Best Bank for Financial Risk Management Kuwait

2016

Best Bank for Financial Risk Management Middle East

2016

Best Innovator in Trade Finance

2015

Best Bank in the Middle East

2010 – 2013, 2015

Best Emerging Market Bank in the Middle East

2011, 2012

Best Provider of Money Markets Fund in the Middle East

Euro Money

2018

Best Cash Management for Non-Financial Institutions

1994 – 2018

Best Bank in Kuwait

2006, 2009, 2015 - 2018

Best Private Banking in Kuwait

2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013

Best Bank in the Middle East

2012 – 2013

Best Managed Company in the Middle East

2009

Best Investment Bank in Kuwait

2008

Outstanding Contribution to Middle East Banking

The Banker

2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 - 2018

Bank of The Year - Kuwait

2007, 2008, 2010, 2011

Bank of The Year - Middle East

2009

Best Customer Service and Project Finance in the Middle East

2007, 2009

Best Deal of the Year in the Middle East

2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007

Best Deal of the Year in Kuwait

Brand Finance

2015 - 2017

Number 1 Banking Brand in Kuwait

Ratings