The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) Lebanon has set foothold as a majority owned subsidiary in the Lebanese market in 1996 following its acquisition of a major stake in RIF Bank.
Being a subsidiary of National Bank of Kuwait S.A.K.P., the Bank thrives to become “The Bank of Choice” for Kuwaiti Nationals, affluent Lebanese, and top tier corporate clients.
NBK Lebanon is currently operating through three branches located in strategic commercial and touristic locations; the Head Office in Sanayeh, and branches in Bhamdoun and Chiah providing a suite of Corporate, Private, & Retail Banking products and services that reflects the highest standards by capitalizing on technology as a tool for easy and convenient banking and people for the best services.
NBK Lebanon’s strategic positioning has enabled it to shift from a product to a relationship centric driven model, becoming a significant partner and service provider to top tier corporates, High Net worth and Affluent Individuals.
NBK Lebanon offers competitive residential real-estate financing in addition to a complete set of real estate advisory services as well as internationally recognized credit and debit cards for easy use around the world in addition to state of the art Mobile and Internet Banking services allowing customers to access their accounts in an easy and convenient manner anytime and anywhere.
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 Kuwaiti dinars). 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.
"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.
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.
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
Ms. Shaikha Khaled Al-BaharChairperson
Mr. Malek Jean KhalifeVice Chairperson
Mr. Elias Michel KanaanNon-Executive Board Member
Mr. Ziad Adnan KabbaniNon-Executive Board Member
Mr. Zaid E J AlsaqerNon-Executive Board Member
Mr. Issam Anis KhalafIndependent Board Member
Mr. Albert Roger LetayfIndependent Board Member
Mr. Maher Abdul Razzak RahamIndependent Board Member
National Bank of Kuwait S.A.K.Executive Board Member
Watani Holding (Liban) S.A.LExecutive Board Member
Mr. Habib KarabetGeneral Manager
Mr. Ronald SaadHead of Risk Management
Mr. Ghassan SidaouiHead of Private Banking
Mr. Elias RachedHead of Corporate Banking
Mr. Mazen TimaniHead of Compliance
Awards & Recognition
Best Private Bank Sustainable Investing in the Middle East
Best SME Bank Kuwait
2013 - 2023
Best Foreign Exchange Provider in Kuwait
2013 - 2017, 2019 - 2021, 2023
Best Foreign Exchange Provider in the Middle East
Best Mobile Banking App - ME
Best in Lending - ME
Outstanding Innovation in Mobile Banking - Weyay
Best Bank for Sustainable Finance in Kuwait
Most Innovative Private Bank Middle East
Best Bill Payment & Presentment - Kuwait
Best Financial Innovation Labs in Kuwait
Most Innovative Digital Bank - Kuwait
Most Innovative Digital Bank - Middle East
Best in Lending - Kuwait
Best Online Product Offerings - Kuwait
Best Online Product Offerings - Middle East
2020 - 2022
Best Consumer Digital Bank in Middle East
2018 - 2022
Best Consumer Digital Bank in Kuwait
2018, 2021, 2022
Best Mobile Banking App - Consumer in Kuwait
2015 - 2022
Best Private Banking in Kuwait
2014 - 2022
Best Bank in Kuwait
2008 - 2018, 2020 - 2022
Best Trade Finance Bank in Kuwait
Best in Social Media Marketing and Services - Kuwait
World’s Top 50 Safest Commercial Banks
Best Bank for Liquidity Management in the Middle East
Best Bank for Cash Management in Kuwait
Best Emerging Markets Bank Worldwide
The Innovators - Real Time End-To-End Payment Tracking on Customer Payment
Best in Mobile Banking - Consumer in Kuwait
2006 - 2019
World’s Top 50 Safest Banks for 14 consecutive times
Best Bank for Financial Risk Management Kuwait
Best Bank for Financial Risk Management Middle East
Best Innovator in Trade Finance
2010 - 2016
Best Emerging Market Bank in Kuwait
Best Bank in the Middle East
2010 - 2013, 2015
Best Emerging Market Bank in the Middle East
Best Provider of Money Markets Fund in the Middle East
Best Bank for Digital Solutions in Kuwait
Best Bank for ESG in Kuwait
Best Bank for Diversity & Inclusion in Kuwait
Best Private Bank/Technology: Innovative or Emerging Technology Adoption in Kuwait
Best Private Bank/Wealth Manager for Mass/Super Affluent Clients in Kuwait
Best Private Bank/Wealth Manager for Ultra High Net worth Clients in Kuwai
1994 - 2018, 2021
Best Bank in Kuwait
Best Cash Management for Non-Financial Institutions
2006, 2009, 2015 - 2018
Best Private Banking in Kuwait
2012 - 2013
Best Managed Company in the Middle East
2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013
Best Bank in the Middle East
Best Investment Bank in Kuwait
Outstanding Contribution to Middle East Banking
2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 - 2019, 2021, 2022
Bank of The Year - Kuwait
2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2022
Bank of The Year - Middle East
Innovation in Digital Banking Award - Middle East
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
2015 - 2022
Number 1 Banking Brand in Kuwait
Best Credit Card Initiative in MENA
Best Retail Bank in Kuwait
Best Youth Program Initiative
Best Retail Bank Kuwait
Best Loyalty/Rewards Programme Middle East