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Kuwait: NBK Executive Management Holds a Meeting with Visa CEO


National Bank of Kuwait’s Executive Management held a meeting with Visa’s CEO and Regional Management team covering all aspects related to the successful strategic partnership that has been sustained between the two parties over many years. They also discussed various means to strengthen their collaboration in the future as part of NBK’s keenness to deliver unique banking products and services and the most advanced e-payment solutions.

The meeting was attended by NBK Group CEO, Mr. Isam Al Sager, Deputy Group CEO, Ms. Shaikha Al Bahar, Visa Inc. Chairman and CEO Mr. Alfred Kelly, who was joined by the Regional President for Visa Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) region, Mr. Andrew Torre, General Manager - Middle East and North Africa, Visa, Mr. Marcello Baricordi,  General Manager - Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman, Visa, Mr. Shashank Singh, and Country Manager, Visa Kuwait, Mr. Ankush Devadason.

“We are extremely keen on establishing strategic partnerships with leading global institutions in order to provide the safest and most advanced banking service, thus enabling us to maintain our leadership in the local and regional markets.” NBK Group CEO, Mr. Isam Al Sager said.

Al-Sager highlighted that the meeting was held in light of NBK's strategy to diversify its banking products and services, as well as the Group's commitment towards digital transformation to ensure future growth and success in the future.

“We enjoy a well-established partnership with Visa that resulted in producing outstanding services and unique campaigns. Our discussions with Visa’s executive management covered how to strengthen our joint alliance going forward and the development of innovative e-payment solutions to cater to the evolving needs of our valued customers”.

Mr. Alfred Kelly, Chairman and CEO of Visa Inc. said: “We’re thrilled with our ongoing strategic partnership with NBK. The successful track record we have achieved together over the years is testament to the significant collaboration between our two organizations.”

“This region is dynamic, with vast opportunities in the arena of digital payments and we look forward to strengthening our partnership with NBK as we work together to accelerate the adoption of innovative payment solutions in Kuwait. This includes the launch of a number of unique banking services and campaigns that meet the needs of our customers.” Mr. Kelly added.

The long-term partnership between NBK and Visa has yielded numerous banking products and services in addition to providing customers with the latest and most advanced e-payment solutions.

NBK and Visa continually launch unique and unprecedented campaigns and offers, most recently they rewarded young customers of Al Shabab Package holders by giving them a chance to win one of four trips to London to watch the FIFA eWorld Cup 2019 Grand Final. 

In cooperation with Visa, NBK successfully developed numerous customer-centric products that are custom tailored to meet their banking needs and to provide the best and latest e-payment solutions in Kuwait, in addition to providing the best benefits, rewards and exclusive offers throughout the year, including cashback, discounts and special and unique campaigns to attend international events.

Kuwait: NBK reports 2019 net profit of KD 401.3 million, increasing 8.2% Y-o-Y


National Bank of Kuwait (“NBK”, the “Bank” or the “Group”), today announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2019. The Group delivered strong annual performance with net profit of KD 401.3 million (USD 1.3 billion) compared with KD 370.7 million (USD 1.2 billion) in 2018, increasing by 8.2% year-on-year.

Total assets in 2019 stood at KD 29.3 billion (USD 96.6 billion), increasing by 6.7%, with customer deposits increasing by 10.7% to reach KD 15.9 billion (USD 52.6 billion) and customer loans and advances growing by 6.8% to KD 16.6 billion (USD 54.6 billion). NBK’s Board of Directors has proposed the distribution of a cash dividend of 35 fils per share, representing 56.4% of net profit, in addition to 5% bonus shares.

The proposed dividend is subject to shareholders’ approval at the Annual General Meeting. Earnings per share (EPS) stood at 60 fils, as compared to 55 fils in 2018, and equity attributable to shareholders increased by 8.8% to KD 3.21 billion (USD 10.6 billion).

Nasser Musaed Abdulla Al-Sayer, NBK Group Chairman, commented: “2019 was another strong year as we delivered healthy profitability while maintaining a robust balance sheet – demonstrating the quality and diversity of both our operations and earnings.

The Bank remains firmly committed to New Kuwait 2035 and is taking confident steps towards supporting its delivery. These financial results are driven by the execution of our strategy for growth and innovation, while contributing to the country’s socioeconomic development.

A highlight of the year was the heavy oversubscription of our USD 750 million perpetual tier-1 capital securities issuance, which was well-received by global fixed income investors and reflects solid investor confidence in NBK.”

Net operating income grew by 1.4% to KD 895.5 million (USD 3.0 billion), while non-interest income increased by 7.0% to KD 206.3 million (USD 680.7 million). Our international operations continued to play an important role in mitigating Group-level risk and diversifying income from across geographies. The total bottom line contribution of international operations accounted for 28% of the Group’s net profit in 2019.

Isam J. Al-Sager, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “Despite operating conditions remaining below expectations, with a volatile oil prices environment, NBK recorded another set of strong results, as the breadth of its operations and the scale of its international footprint mitigated risks and ensured consistent profitability.

Non-oil GDP growth in Kuwait is projected to reach 2.5% in 2020, and the pipeline of scheduled project awards is healthy. There is a broad expectation that the year will bring positive operating conditions, as the government continues to stimulate economic activity and the appetite for credit improves.

 NBK is deeply committed to its digitalization strategy, in an effort to develop an established foothold in its regional markets. In 2019 we were proud to launch our in-house Digital Factory, which is playing a vital role in driving the progress of our digital roadmap. This will soon become a unique competitive advantage in the region.”

NBK’s asset quality metrics remained strong with the ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans at 1.10%, compared with 1.38% in 2018, and an NPL coverage ratio of 272.2%, compared with 228.1% in 2018. The Bank maintained healthy levels of capitalization, with a capital adequacy ratio of 17.8% at year-end, compared with 17.2% in 2018. This level of capitalization is aligned with the Group’s risk appetite and in excess of the Central Bank of Kuwait’s requirements.

Al-Sager concluded: “NBK’s strategy for 2020 will not deviate from its current trajectory. The Group will continue to increase the diversity of its income across geographies and segments, with the primary objective of achieving superior returns and offering exceptional service to customers.”

In 2019, NBK was recognized by Global Finance and The Banker as the Best Bank in Kuwait, as well as ranking in the World’s 50 Safest Banks list by Global Finance for the 14th consecutive time. The awards are evidence of NBK’s strong financial position, market leadership and of its ability to meet the ever-changing needs of its customers.