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Kuwait: NBK wins global best innovation for real time payment tracker

14.05.2019

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) was awarded the excellence in banking innovation for payment services by Global Finance Magazine, during its annual survey with input from hundreds of industry analysts, senior advisors and corporate executives from around the world.

NBK was selected as the best bank in 2019 in Real Time End-To-End Payment Tracking on Customer Payment which allow customers to track their transfers every step of the way.

Global Finance announced the winner of the World’s Best Digital Banking and the Most Innovative Digital Bank in its seventh annual awards recognizing the most innovative organizations in the following

sectors: Cash Management, Payments and Trade Finance, Corporate Finance and Islamic finance.

Dimitrios Kokosioulis, Deputy CEO, Group Head of Operations & IT at NBK said "This prestigious award is a testament to NBK’s ability to excel in innovative digital services, as it recognizes our successful digital transformation initiatives aimed at providing our customers with the best banking services.”.

“Digital innovation is a main pillar of the Bank's strategy to maintain our leadership in digital banking across regional and global markets through adopting and implementing the latest state-of-the-art banking technologies throughout all NBK’s operations.” He added.

NBK has always strived to offer the best services and products that meet customers’ needs, pioneering as the first Kuwaiti bank to introduce the latest technologies in electronic payments and direct transfers. 

NBK is the first bank in Kuwait to offer transfer tracking through its digital channels, including: NBK Online Banking, NBK Mobile Banking and NBK Corporate Online Banking, thus allowing customers to know their transfer status with NBK Swift Tracking in a fast and secure manner.

Global Finance Global Finance, founded in 1987, has a circulation of over 50,000 and readers in 188 countries. Global Finance’s audience includes senior corporate and financial officers responsible for making investment strategic decisions at multinational companies and financial institutions. Global Finance is headquartered in New York, with offices around the world. 

NBK continues to enjoy collectively one of 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 asset management, in addition to its highly recognized and very stable management team. NBK was also named among Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world for thirteen consecutive times and was awarded as the Best Bank in Kuwait in 2018 by the Banker, Euromoney and Global Finance.

For more information on Global Finance’s “The Innovators 2019”, please visit its website:

https://www.gfmag.com/advertising/press-releases/



Kuwait: National Bank of Kuwait issues $750mln RegS/144A Perpetual Non-Call 6-year Tier 1 capital securities

28.11.2019

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) issued $750 million  RegS/144A perpetual Non-Call 6-Year Tier 1 capital securities, offering 4.5% coupon rate; the lowest for GCC Tier 1 issuance amongst both conventional and Sharia-compliant issuances.

The Tier 1 capital securities were more than 3-times oversubscribed with a peak order book of $2.3 billion.

The proceeds of the issuance will boost the Banks’ capital base (additional Tier 1) in compliance with the Basel III regulatory framework and Central Bank of Kuwait regulations.

The issuance was well received by fixed-income investors and financial institutions around the world, reflecting NBK’s well-established reputation and solid Investors’ confidence

The transaction achieved a globally diverse order book lead by US investors at 33%, followed by UK investors at 27%, Asian-Pacific investors accounted for 20%, while European and MENA investors each made up 10% of the final order book.

The Additional Tier 1 Capital securities issuance, which is the largest in the GCC compared to similar issuances, attracted strong participation from global investors reaching 90%.

The issuance received a ‘Baa3’ rating from Moody’s, underscoring the bank’s outstanding credit ratings.

NBK Capital, Citi, J.P. Morgan and Standard Chartered acted as Global Coordinators and Joint Lead Managers, while HSBC and UBS acted as Joint Lead Managers on the transaction.

NBK continues to collectively enjoy the highest credit ratings from the top 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.

The NBK has an extensive local and global presence. It has boosted its foothold in a number of international hubs in London, Paris, Geneva, New York, Singapore, and China (Shanghai), in addition to a number of MENA countries including Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Turkey.

 



Kuwait: NBK awarded ‘Best Foreign Exchange Provider’ in Kuwait and the Middle East for 2020

24.11.2019

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) was recognized as the Best Foreign Exchange Provider in Kuwait and the Middle East for 2020 in an exclusive survey compiled by the world renowned financial magazine Global Finance.

Global Finance, headquartered in New York, was founded in 1987 and is one of the leading publications specialized in economic research and analysis. The magazine has a circulation of over 50,000 and a diverse reader base ranging from corporate and financial institution executives to investment and strategic decision-makers in 188 countries.

The publication conducts several annual surveys to gage financial services providers’ innovation and profitability around the world.

The rankings, compiled by international finance magazine, Global Finance, are based on input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts.

NBK is enlisted among the World's Best Foreign Exchange Providers along with major international financial institutions such as Citibank, BBVA, Societe Generale, Nomura, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse.

The award is a recognition of NBK’s leadership in providing the best banking solutions that meet the needs of its clientele.

Global Finance magazine has named its 20th World’s Best Foreign Exchange Providers in 113 countries, and 7 global regions, as well as the best banks for FX research and analysis and for FX trading technology. Global Finance also named its Corporate FX Awards honorees, covering FX management and innovation.

Global Finance used a series of criteria—including market share, number and size of deals, service and advice, structuring capabilities, distribution network, efforts to address market conditions, innovation, pricing and market reputation—to score and select winners, based on a proprietary algorithm.

NBK continues to collectively enjoy the highest credit ratings from the top 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.

NBK also maintains its position among the 50 safest banks in the world for the 14th consecutive times.

For more information about the Best Foreign Exchange Provider awards by Global Finance, please visit the website:
https://www.gfmag.com/
 



Kuwait: Al-Sager: “Being at the helm of leading NBK demands that we set the pathway to pioneering and be a role model in the banking sector

27.10.2019

Mr. Isam Al-Sager, Group CEO at the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) received “Distinguished Services to Arab Banking” award from The Arab Bankers Association (ABA) in London for his outstanding efforts and lasting contribution in the banking field. The honoring ceremony took place at the ABA Annual Gala Dinner held in London.

Lord Jeffrey Mountevans Mayor of London from 2015 to 2016 introduced Mr. Isam Al-Sager during the honoring ceremony took place at the ABA Annual Gala Dinner held in London, brought together Mr. Nasser Al-Sayer, NBK Group Chairman; Mrs. Shaikha Al-Bahar, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Georges Richani, CEO - International Banking Group and Mr. Fawzi Al Dajani, NBK London General Manager.

“This is a truly special day on both the personal and professional level. It is such an honor to be recognized by such a leading esteemed organization like Arab Bankers Association with its long history in developing the banking industry in the Arab world.” Al-Sager said.

Al-Sager highlighted that the experience of leading a distinguished leading organization like NBK poses various and unique challenges that leads you to pioneer and be a role model in the banking sector on how to continue to grow despite the challenging operational environment surrounded by fast paced technological development and continuous changes in customer needs, in addition to pursuing the consolidation of the bank’s leadership position. Being successful on the financial and operational front is very important but we also have to pursue sustainable economic development and be socially responsible.

“Since I assumed my responsibilities as NBK Group CEO in 2014, we successfully managed to further strengthen the Bank's leadership in the Kuwaiti banking sector, continued to implement our diversification strategy and expanded our international operations. Those efforts went hand in hand with the implementation of our digital transformation strategy which is a main pillar to further maintain our development and fulfill our commitment as a bank of the future through keeping up with all the new technological developments and satisfying our customers’ ever evolving needs”. Al-Sager added.

Al-Sager said: “Being a part of the banking sector requires participants to continuously learn and develop, in addition to the ability to be a good team player. These are the core values that truly boost success across all financial institutions, especially banks. It is necessary to believe that the real role of banks is not limited to satisfying financing needs, but rater extends to make a difference in people’s lives, drive institutional growth and develop communities that were the banking model that NBK was built upon.

“Throughout my professional career in the banking sector for many decades, I am still as enthusiastic as that first day when I decided to join NBK and taking on the mission to maintain the Group’s successful journey. I also have the same passion when I talk about NBK’s strategy and goals as when I used to listen to my father talking about banks’ strategic role in financing developmental plans and fulfilling the financial needs of both businesses and individuals.” Al-Sager concluded.

During his introduction Lord Jeffrey Mountevans said “Isam Al-Sager has led this flagship Arab financial institution since 2014, having risen through the ranks, after joining NBK in the late 1970s. He has worked in all areas of the bank, from credit to operations, international subsidiaries and Islamic banking. Under his leadership, NBK has embarked on an ambitious programme to develop digital banking for its customers. NBK was the first local bank to use blockchain technology for cross-border transfers”.

Meanwhile, Mr. George Kanaan, the CEO of the ABA said: "We are delighted to honor Mr. Isam Al-Sager for his long-standing efforts and contributions to the banking sector in the Arab World.  This is the culmination of a successful career spanning over several years of hard work within NBK Group, a leading and reputable financial institution”.

Kanaan called on Arab bankers to connect, communicate and exchange knowledge to enrich the deep rooted Arab banking experience and continue improving the industry’s development in the region, attaining ABA’s main objective.

The Arab Bankers’ Association (ABA) was founded in 1980 and is a London-based not-for-profit professional organization whose members work in banks and related industries in the Arab world and in the United Kingdom.

ABA is dedicated to representing and promoting the interests of Arab banks and for those working alongside Arab financial institutions.

Frame…

NBK family is most valuable resource and main pillar of its pioneering

Al-Sager expressed his appreciation to NBK team for their hard work and dedication as they consistently strive to maintain NBK’s successful path and explore new and innovative ways to grow. Al-Sager also expressed his gratitude to the bank's customers across all geographical locations in which the bank operates for their confidence in NBK’s banking services and products.

Also he confirmed that he was quite fortunate to be part of NBK family over these years. This family is NBK’s most valuable resource and it is the men and women who dedicated their lives to make NBK one of the best banks in the Middle East region. Al-Sager also confirmed that everyone of this family contributed to the success of NBK.



Kuwait: NBK Delegation Attends Kuwait Banking Association Reception in Washington

20.10.2019

An official delegation from the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) attended the Kuwait Banking Association reception held on Friday in Washington, D.C. on the sidelines of the 2019 Annual Meetings of The Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that took place during the week of October 14-20.

The reception, held in the Four Seasons Hotel, brought together Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK), Dr. Mohammad Al-Hashel; Managing Director at Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), Farouk A Bastaki; the Kuwaiti Ambassador in Washington, Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, in addition to a number of senior bankers, investors and policy makers.

This event presents guests with an opportunity to meet regional and international decision makers to hear about the latest financial and banking developments in both Kuwait and wider region.

The delegation was headed by NBK Group Chief Executive Officer, Issam Al-Sager; Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer, Shaikha Al-Bahar; CEO - International Banking Group, Georges Richani; and General Manager at National Bank of Kuwait - New York, Marwan Isbaih.

Delegates attending the World Bank and the IMF meetings include central bank governors and ministers of finance and development. The guest list also includes private sector senior officials in addition to representatives of the civil society and academic scholars.

Participants get together to discuss key international issues including the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, and economic development.
Events include meetings of the Development Committee, the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the Group of Ten, the Group of Twenty-Four, the Group of Thirty and various other constituencies.

The International Monetary and Financial Affairs Committee is scheduled to discuss the world economic performance as well as future trends and provide an update on the international financial markets and the risks impacting performance, in addition to discussing key polices to mitigate such risks.

This year's annual meetings discussed several important topics including the global economic outlook report, in addition to shedding light on Fintech innovators as drivers of inclusive economies and catalyzing environmental, social and governance investment.

Other key topics of discussion include integrated solar energy plans, unleashing the potential of women entrepreneurs through finance and markets as well as the international development association’s role in comprehensive development.

The annual meetings bring together a large number of officials from member countries, providing opportunities for formal and informal discussions.

A number of seminars are held on the sidelines of the meetings, in addition to the Per Jacobsson Lecture on international finance, which is sponsored by a foundation set up in honor of the IMF's third Managing Director.

NBK is keen to attend global forums and international conferences to stay updated of the latest global developments, activities and events on global economy, international development and the financial system.
 



Kuwait: Global Finance Names NBK “Best Emerging Markets Bank” in 2019

20.10.2019

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has been awarded the Best Emerging Markets Bank in the world for 2019 by Global Finance. Every year, winners are selected with input from corporate executives, industry analyst and bankers from around the world.  

NBK was selected based on the Bank's performance over the past year and other criteria, including strong management performance and its leading position in the regional and global banking sector.

NBK’s name was revealed as part of a number of global honorees featuring some of the biggest names in the banking industry including Bank of America, Standard Chartered, Societe Generale,   Singapore's DBS, OCBC China and BBVA of Spain.

Global Finance announced its selection for the World’s Best Global Banks 2019 Awards including:  Best Emerging Markets Bank, World’s Best Consumer Bank, World’s Best Corporate Bank, Best Derivatives Bank, Best Bank for Sustainable Finance, Best SME Bank and Best Frontier Markets Bank.

Moreover, an awards ceremony will be held in October 2019 during the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington, DC.

NBK is the first bank in Kuwait to be named Best Emerging Bank in the World.

Global Finance, headquartered in New York, was founded in 1987 and is one of the leading publications specialized in economic research and analysis. The magazine has a circulation of over 50,000 and a diverse reader base ranging from corporate and financial institution executives to investment and strategic decision-makers in 188 countries. 

The publication conducts several annual surveys to gage financial services provides’ innovation and profitability around the world.

NBK is the largest financial institution in Kuwait with effective market dominance in the commercial banking sector and has been consistently awarded the highest credit rating of all banks in the region from Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Ratings. NBK also stands out in terms of its local and international network, which includes branches, subsidiaries and representative offices in China, Geneva, London, Paris, New York, and Singapore alongside its regional presence in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, and the UAE.

For more information on Global Finance magazine's Best Emerging Markets Bank in the World 2019, please visit:
https://www.gfmag.com/awards-rankings/best-banks-and-financial-rankings/
 



Kuwait: NBK The only Kuwaiti bank among the World’s 50 Safest Banks in 2019

14.10.2019

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) maintained its listing in The World’s 50 Safest Banks in 2019 list by Global Finance for the 14th consecutive time; topping international financial heavyweights. NBK is the only Kuwaiti bank in Global Finance’s list.

According to the new ranking, NBK ranks 46st on Global Finance’s list of the World’s 50 Safest Banks for 2019 and. This recognition demonstrates NBK’s exceptionally strong ratings, successful strategy, high standards and rigorous risk management discipline & governance.

National Bank of Kuwait has maintained this prestigious ranking for more than a decade, reflecting the strength and consistency it has enjoyed. During this period, which witnessed many challenges in the banking industry, NBK demonstrated its ability to overcome the obstacles within a changing environment and strengthen its leadership position.

Global Finance rankings are based on collective long-term credit ratings from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings in addition to the total assets of the 500 largest banks worldwide. For 27 years, Global Finance’s listings have been well-recognized and trusted standards for the creditworthiness of financial institutions.

Safest Banks rankings consider as one of global standards to compare the reliability of banks across the world and trusted metric to aid readers in their decision-making processes regarding which bank they use especially among changing trade policies are having an impact on countries everywhere.

NBK continues to enjoy one of the highest credit ratings in the MENA region and internationally, with ratings of Aa3 from Moody’s, A+ from Standard & Poor’s and AA- from Fitch, all ratings carry a stable outlook. The Bank’s ratings are supported by NBK’s conservative strategy, strong capitalization & asset quality, prudent lending policies, wise risk management and a highly stable management team.

NBK enjoys a wide banking presence with an international footprint spanning across the world’s leading financial centers including London, Paris, Geneva, New York and Singapore, as well as China (Shanghai). NBK’s MENA presence extends to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Turkey.

For more information about Global Finance top 50 Safest Banks Ranking & methodology please visit:

https://www.gfmag.com/awards-rankings/best-banks-and-financial-rankings/?year=&search_location=&award_type=worlds-safest-banks



Kuwait: NBK reports 10.9% increase in 9M 2019 net profit

10.10.2019

The National Bank of Kuwait (“NBK”, the “Bank” or the “Group”) has announced its financial results for the 9-month period ended 30 September 2019. NBK reported a net profit of KD 302.2 million (USD 993.8 million), increasing by 10.9% compared to 30 September 2018, with total assets increasing by 6.6% to reach KD 28.9 billion (USD 95.1 billion).

Performance highlights: 9M 2019

• Operating income reached KD 672.8 million (USD 2,212.6 million), growing by 1.7%
• Customer loans and advances reached KD 16.4 billion (USD 53.8 billion), increasing by 6.2% year-on-year
• Customer deposits increased by 12.2% to reach KD 15.8 billion (USD 51.9 billion)
• Capital Adequacy Ratio of 15.8%, in excess of regulatory requirements
• NPL to gross loans ratio at 1.37% and an NPL coverage ratio of 227% demonstrate maintenance of strong asset quality indicators
• Consistently positive long-term credit ratings reflect conservative approach to risk

Commenting on the interim results, NBK Group Chairman, Nasser Al-Sayer, said:

“The Bank continues to operate in a challenging macroeconomic environment, but we are pleased that despite headwinds we are growing our business – and its profitability – across the region. Although there has been slower demand for credit in Kuwait, we have seen growth in our loan book, and we expect this trend to continue until the end of the year. By continuing to focus on our strategy to diversify and digitalize our operations we have seen incremental and continuous top- and bottom-line growth across business units and geographies. Key metrics demonstrate the Bank’s strong position, with 9-month net profit growth of nearly 11% and a 6.6% increase in total assets.”


NBK Group CEO, Isam Al-Sager, commented:

“We’re achieving solid results across business units, demonstrating the positive impact of our strategy of diversification, to mitigate risk and navigate market headwinds. Our digitalization initiatives continue to be rolled out across the Bank, optimizing back- and front-end operations and creating a more seamless experience for customers. This year we have been formally recognized by Global Finance magazine for our leadership in the digital arena – in areas including online banking, consumer digital banking and real-time transaction tracking.

In terms of income diversity, it is particularly pleasing to have achieved solid growth across units, with robust bottom-line contributions made by international operations, consumer banking and our Islamic subsidiary – Boubyan Bank – for the period ended 30 September. Meanwhile, we are making significant progress on our ESG goals, with the Bank now a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index Series, the only Kuwaiti bank included in the benchmark.”



Kuwait: NBK Delegation To Attend WBG & IMF Annual Meetings

08.10.2019

A senior delegation from National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) will attend the 2019 Annual Meetings of The Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that will take place in Washington, D.C. during the week of October 14-20.

The delegation will be headed by NBK Group Chairman Mr. Nasser Al-Sayer, NBK Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Isam Al-Sager, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Shaikha Al-Bahar and CEO - International Banking Group, Mr. Georges Richani.

NBK delegation will participate in the annual meetings that will discuss key economic and financial challenges and future growth prospects, as well as highlights on a number of issues related to global financial sector reforms.

The delegation will also participate in several bilateral meetings with senior officials on the sidelines of the sessions. The meetings and discussions will highlight the latest and most pressing issues facing the financial services industry and global economy today. 

Moreover, NBK delegation will attend the reception organized by the Kuwait Banking Association on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Boards of Governors of the IMF and the World Bank Group that brings togethers senior financiers, investors and policy-makers from all over the world.

During its annual meeting, IMF will provide a briefing on the World Economic Outlook report including insights from IMF experts on global economic performance, current and future trends and risks, as well as an overview of the world economic outlook projections. IMF will also host a conference on financial stability.

Delegates attending the Word Bank/ IMF meetings include government officials, central bank governors, ministers of finance and development. The guest list also includes private sector senior officials, representatives of the civil society and academic scholars. Participants get together to discuss key international issues including: World Economic Outlook and how to reduce poverty and spur economic growth.

Events include meetings of the Development Committee, the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the Group of Ten, the Group of Twenty-Four, the Group of Thirty and various other constituencies. The International Monetary and Financial Affairs Committee is scheduled to discuss world economic performance, future trends and provide an update on the international financial markets and the associated risk impacting their performance, in addition to discussing key polices to mitigate such risks.

This year's annual meetings will discuss several important topics including Global Economic Outlook report as well as shedding light on Fintech Innovators as Drivers of Inclusive Economies and Catalyzing Environmental, Social and Governance Investment.

Other key topics of discussion include Integrated Solar Energy Plans and Unleashing the Potential of Women Entrepreneurs through Finance and Markets as well as the   international development association’s role in comprehensive development.

The annual meetings bring together a large number of officials from member countries, providing opportunities for formal and informal discussions. Numerous seminars are held on the sidelines of the meetings, in addition to the Per Jacobsson Lecture on international finance, which is sponsored by a foundation set up in honor of the IMF's third Managing Director, is also given each year in conjunction with the meetings.

NBK is keen to attend global forums and international conferences to stay on top of the latest global developments, activities and events focused on global economy, international development and the financial system.
 



Kuwait: NBK Honors its Most Valuable Team Players & Collaborative Teams through its MVP Program 2019

22.09.2019

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) honored its distinguished employees and teams for 2019 at its fourth Annual Award Ceremony – Most Valuable Team Players Awards.

The prestigious event was attended by Mr. Isam Jassim Al-Sager, NBK Group Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Shaikha Al Bahar, NBK Deputy Group CEO, Mr. Salah Youssef Al-Fulaij, NBK Chief Executive Officer-Kuwait, and Mr. Emad Al-Ablani, General Manager – Group Human Resources, in addition to a number of NBK’s top executives.

In his speech, Mr. Isam Al-Sager highlighted the importance of human capital as a main pillar in NBK’s success over the years, indicating that none of the Bank’s strategic objective would have been possible if it weren’t for the efforts and contributions of such an amazing effective group of employees.

“We highly appreciate our employees for their efforts, dedication and commitment to the highest professional standards as they are the cornerstone of NBK’s future success and the force driving our leadership in providing excellent services to our valued customers”. Al-Sager said.

“I am extremely proud of your dedication and very proud to be part of such an outstanding leading organization”. Al-Sager added. In the meantime, the Group CEO also called on all NBK family to foster and promote positive professional conduct to ensure business transparency and maintain future success.

Mr. Al-Sager stressed that NBK Group establishes an environment shaped by the highest values of integrity, thus creating synergy among all employees to drive the Bank's continued success and achieve its vision and objectives.

He assured that NBK will continue to invest in its human resources, which now exceeds more than 6,000 employees in four continents, as it firmly believes in their vital role in executing NBK’s strategy to maintain its local and regional leadership.

NBK organizes several events throughout the year to honor its employees in an effort to support and encourage its human capital to always strive for excellence. The selection of MVP honorees depends on the votes of their colleagues within the same business unit. The voting criteria is based on teamwork, cooperation, participation, and efficiency. The ceremony honoring MVPs included several activities and contests, as well as awarding prizes to participating employees. This year, and for the first time, teams across NBK Groups were also awarded for their effective transparency, communication and team spirit.



Kuwait: NBK participates in the “Rise of the Bots” Panel Discussion

16.09.2019

National Bank of Kuwait participated in “Rise of the Bots” panel discussion during the annual Global Finance conference "Digital Bank and Innovators 2019" as Mr. Dimitrios Kokosioulis, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Group Head of Operations & IT, taking part in a panel discussion sharing his expertise on the subject, highlighting the many achievements and accomplishments with NBK and explained how Robotics Process Automation (RPA) can help transform and digitize the banking industry.

Kokosioulis said "NBK was the first bank to establish Robo - Advisory with Neo Technology on our brokerage business, through NBK Capital".

"RPA has a lot of potential for the back office but as with all digital initiatives, has to have the right return on investment and there has to be value to the customers" he added.

Kokosioulis shared NBK achievements with attendees and said "We have introduced RPA in NBK and we are currently targeting 16 processes as part of wave 1. We did a very successful proof of concept with a process in credit card refund. What used to take 7-8 hours and required multiple manual interventions, now takes less than 8 seconds with the use of bots”.

He continued "We have already successfully deployed in production RPA on 8 processes impacting operations and retail banking services – we are live as part of Wave 1 and the results are very promising. We have seen great improvements not only in efficiency (cost reduction) but also in revenue generation, error reduction, turnaround time reduction, customer experience enhancement and closure of audit issues as well".

Kokosioulis highlighted that RPA is always challenging as it introduces change and job security is a concern but can be managed by the proper and efficient communication that needs to take place in an organization. Furthermore with the introduction of RPA, many mundane jobs would be replaced with bots, but new opportunities will be created as well, with retraining and redeploying resources.

He confirmed that NBK is not doing this for FTE saves only as mentioned above. The message should be clear, with RPA NBK can provide better service, faster turnaround time, less mistakes and be able to scale up in volumes with less impact.

He added "We are currently collaborating with a third party consultant who is assisting us to build our internal capabilities with a Center of Excellence (CoE), that would be responsible for the maintenance of the bots, development, deployment in production, communication, business analysis and implementation. But the CoE will also have business experts who will liaise with the various businesses within the bank and define the RPA journey through new opportunities".

Kokosioulis explained "During this process, we also found to be a golden opportunity to revamp, re-engineer our processes as some of them needed to be changed for the sake of automation and others to make them more efficient".

He confirmed that all RPA initiatives are in line with NBK digital transformation, amongst other initiatives the bank is pursuing or has already implemented. He said “There was a lot of investment in the enhancement on our mobile banking offering through NBK Mobile First strategy. Today for example the client can do a lot more on his mobile without the need to visit the bank and year on year we add more services”.

NBK added 14 new services on our mobile banking application during 2018. These efforts have gained global and regional recognition - JP Morgan has ranked NBK MOB app as 3rd in the GCC region among all top banks and 1st in Kuwait.

Regarding NBK cards Kokosioulis said "We were the first bank in Kuwait and we were the second bank globally to launch Selfie Pay (ID Check Mobile) with MasterCard, where you can authenticate transactions using biometrics, a fingerprint or face recognition using just your phone’s camera".

Kokosioulis also talked about payments said "we also invested a lot to enhance the transfer capabilities. With SWIFT GPI, you can now transfer money worldwide within a few hours, rather than days. You can also track your payments with SWIFT GPI, similar to the way you would track a package which is very convenient and shows our commitment on providing the best to our customers in terms of service and transparency. We are also happy today to be recognized for this by winning the Global Innovators Award sponsored by Global Finance for End-to-End Payment Tracking”

Further on payments, he highlighted that NBK was the first bank in Kuwait to join the Ripple Network. With the use of Distributed Ledger Technology, NBK can now send cross border payments in near real time. NBK succefully launched the Direct Remit offering to NBK Jordan and will soon add other corridors.



Kuwait: NBK Receives 3 Awards from Global Finance

12.09.2019

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) was awarded “Best Consumer Digital Bank”, the “Best in Mobile Banking” in Kuwait and the Most Innovative Digital Bank in Real Time End-To-End Payment Tracking on Customer Payment worldwide by” Global Finance Magazine for 2019.

In an award ceremony held in Dubai, NBK received its awards and was recognized in the presence of  NBK top executives including Mr. Dimitrios Kokosioulis Deputy Chief Executive Officer - IT & Operations Group, National Bank of Kuwait, Mr. Mohammed Al-Kharafi, General Manager - Group Head of Operations at NBK and Mr.  Dhari Al-Quraishi, Deputy General Manager, IT & Operations Group.

Global Finance, headquartered in New York, was founded in 1987 and is one of the leading publications specialized in economic research and analysis. The magazine has a circulation of over 50,000 and readers in 188 countries. 

Winning banks were chosen among entries evaluated by a world-class panel of judges consisting of financial and technology sector leaders and under the supervision of Infosys, the global leader in consulting, technology and digital transformation, in collaboration with the magazine's staff.

Global Finance Magazine uses a variety of subjective and objective criteria for choosing the winners, including: the strength of strategy for attracting and servicing digital customers, success in getting clients to use digital offerings, growth in numbers of digital customers, breadth of product offerings, evidence of tangible benefits gained from digital initiatives, and web/mobile site design and functionality. 

Commenting on receiving those prestigious awards, Mr Dimitrios Kokosioulis Deputy Chief Executive Officer - IT & Operations Group said: “NBK always strives to maintain its leading position as a digital banking pioneer through continuously offering new and innovative digital services and introducing digital transformation standards in traditional bank branches”.

“NBK Mobile Banking and NBK Online Banking are among the key services offered by the Bank as it caters to the young population in Kuwait, with over 63% under the age of 30. Moreover, Kuwait has one of the highest internet and mobile penetration levels in the world.” He added.

Kokosioulis highlighted that digital transformation is a main pillar of Consumer Banking Group's strategy that supports NBK Group's main objective by fulfilling customers’ needs and requirements. 

In 2018, NBK achieved strong growth in mobile transactions, which increased by 40% Y-o-Y, thus confirming the success of its efforts aimed at encouraging customers to use digital banking channels.

NBK Mobile Banking is a safe and easy channel to manage accounts from anywhere and at any time. Customers can conveniently open a new account, view transactions made on accounts and credit cards, check their NBK Miles Points and NBK Rewards Program Points, pay outstanding credit cards balance, pay bills online, find the nearest branch, ATM or CDM in Kuwait, as well as submit an account statement request and order checkbooks, in addition to a wide array of services.

NBK Mobile Banking is constantly evolving by adding new and innovative services and improving existing services. Some of the newest features include managing banking cards while traveling, increasing the monthly transfer limits and updating customers’ contact information, making NBK Mobile Banking the greatest companion while travelling.

For the second consecutive year, NBK was named the “Best Digital Bank '' and “Best Mobile Bank in Kuwait '' for 2019 by Global Finance magazine.

All information related to the awards offered by Global Finance magazine may be found on its website:  http://www.gfmag.com/



Kuwait: NBK Executive Management Holds a Meeting with Visa CEO

03.09.2019

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.



Egypt: NBK-Egypt reports EGP 1.055 billion (KWD 18.7 million) in Net Profits in 1H2019

22.08.2019

NBK-Egypt - a member of NBK Group – reported EGP 1.055 billion in net profits (KWD 18.7 million) for 1H2019 up 6.7% compared to EGP 988.78 million (KWD 16.9 million) for the corresponding period of last year.

Total assets as of June 30, 2019 reached EGP 68.55 billion up 5.26% compared to EGP 65.12 billion by the end of June 2018. Total customers deposits grew by 19.24% for the same period to reach EGP 56.68 billion, compared to EGP 47.54 billion for the corresponding period of last year. 

Ms. Shaikha Al-Bahar, Deputy Group CEO, National Bank of Kuwait and Chairman of NBK-Egypt said that NBK-Egypt's record financial results reflect NBK Group's insightful long-term investments strategies in the Egyptian market. The profit growth in 1H2019, mainly driven by operating income, also reflects the stability of the Egyptian economic environment and its rapid development.

Al-Bahar highlighted that NBK-Egypt is considered one of the most important branches for the Group, as it contributes about third of the reported profits from the Group’s international branches. She also stressed that the growth witnessed by the Egyptian economy will create new investment and financing opportunities for the bank, which will in turn improve product integration between the bank and the parent group, thus strengthening its position in the Egyptian market.

“NBK Group is working on transferring its Fintech expertise to the Egyptian market through NBK-Egypt as part of the Group’s "digital transformation” strategy. This step was reflected positively on the outstanding and unique banking services offered by NBK-Egypt to its customers, thus position us as a pioneering bank in introducing the latest technological solutions”. Shaikha Al-Bahar commented.

Al-Bahar also added that NBK-Egypt aims to further expand its market share in the Egyptian market, confirming that all indicators support the successful implementation of NBK’s strategy focused on the retail sector in addition to corporate finance. “NBK aims to expand and diversify its business scope to increase its geographical footprint and reach more customers throughout all Egyptian governorates”. Al-Bahar added.

Al-Bahar stressed that the Egyptian economy is beginning to reap the benefits of its economic reform program, which the government managed to successfully implement over the past three years. That initiative included a wide array of economic and financial reforms, which led to a substantial improvement in the macroeconomic and financial indicators, as confirmed by the leading international institutions. Most recently, Fitch upgraded Egypt's credit rating to B+ with a stable outlook and Moody's upgraded its credit rating to B2 with a stable outlook.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of NBK-Egypt, Mr. Yasser El-Tayeb highlighted that 1H2019 financial results reflect that NBK-Egypt has continued its growth and solid performance across most financial indicators, supported by the Bank's success in overcoming unfavorable market conditions at the beginning of this year, thanks to the prudent policy adopted by the Bank as a member of NBK Group and its business model based on the diversification of its income and credit portfolio while offering flexible financing solutions and providing innovative  banking products at the same time to cater to its customers actual needs derived through detailed in-depth market studies. This is in addition to the bank's solid financial position, strong balance sheets, successful strategy and the experienced and accomplished team that brings comprehensive banking knowledge and expertise. 

El-Tayeb added that most of NBK-Egypt’s profits are driven by corporate credit services, with a highly diversified portfolio drawing on the diversification of the Egyptian economy itself. He also highlighted that NBK strives to strengthen its position in retail banking as well over the coming period and that it has made huge strides in presenting innovative services and products to its retail clients to fulfill the needs and requirements of various segments.  

He further added that NBK-Egypt has a wide network of 50 branches spread over premium locations in various Egyptian governorates and cities including: Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Delta, Sinai, Red Sea and Upper Egypt, in addition to the industrial zones in 6th of October and 10th of Ramadan cities. The bank is also privileged to be among the elite banks within the Egyptian market that hold an Islamic banking license in addition to its conventional licensing. It has two Islamic branches, one in Cairo and the other in Alexandria, thus enabling the bank to offer a comprehensive selection of Sharia compliant products and services in addition to its traditional offerings.

Moreover, NBK-Egypt has a wide network of ATMs spread across the country to service the bank’s clients around the clock. NBK- Egypt also provides a range of e-services that provide its clients with unique banking experiences, enabling them to execute many of their banking transactions anywhere anytime without having to visit the branch.

 National Bank of Kuwait was incorporated in 1952 as the first local bank and the first shareholding company in Kuwait and the Gulf region. NBK continues to enjoy collectively one of 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 strong financial indicators, asset quality, high capitalization in addition to its highly recognized and very stable management team, as well as strategic vision and stable funding base. NBK was also named among Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world for the thirteenth consecutive time. NBK enjoys the widest banking presence with a local and international network exceeding over 150 branches and subsidiaries reaching 4 continents. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world’s leading financial centers including the United States of America, Europe, GCC, the Middle East, China as well as Singapore.



Kuwait: NBK named the “Best Consumer Digital Bank” and the “Best in Mobile Banking” by Global Finance

19.08.2019

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) was awarded “Best Consumer Digital Bank” and the “Best in Mobile Banking” in Kuwait by Global Finance Magazine for 2019.

Global Finance, headquartered in New York, was founded in 1987 and is one of the leading publications specialized in economic research and analysis. The magazine has a circulation of over 50,000 and readers in 188 countries. 

Winning banks were chosen among entries evaluated by a world-class panel of judges consisting of financial and technology sector leaders and under the supervision of Infosys, the global leader in consulting, technology and digital transformation, in collaboration with the magazine's staff.

Global Finance Magazine uses a variety of subjective and objective criteria for choosing the winners, including: the strength of strategy for attracting and servicing digital customers, success in getting clients to use digital offerings, growth in numbers of digital customers, breadth of product offerings, evidence of tangible benefits gained from digital initiatives, and web/mobile site design and functionality. 

NBK always strives to maintain its leading position as a digital banking pioneer through continuously offering new and innovative digital services and introducing digital transformation standards in traditional bank branches.

NBK Mobile Banking and NBK Online Banking are among the key services offered by the Bank as it caters to the young population in Kuwait, with over 63% under the age of 30. Moreover, Kuwait has one of the highest internet and mobile penetration levels in the world.

In 2018, NBK achieved strong growth in mobile transactions, which increased by 40% Y-o-Y, thus confirming the success of its efforts aimed at encouraging customers to use digital banking channels.

Digital transformation is a main pillar of Consumer Banking Group's strategy that supports NBK Group's main objective by fulfilling customers’ needs and requirements. 

NBK Mobile Banking is a safe and easy channel to manage accounts from anywhere and at any time. Customers can conveniently open a new account, view transactions made on accounts and credit cards, check their NBK Miles Points and NBK Rewards Program Points, pay outstanding credit cards balance, pay bills online, find the nearest branch, ATM or CDM in Kuwait, as well as submit an account statement request and order checkbooks, in addition to a wide array of services.

NBK Mobile Banking is constantly evolving by adding new and innovative services and improving existing services. Some of the newest features include managing banking cards while traveling, increasing the monthly transfer limits and updating customers’ contact information, making NBK Mobile Banking the greatest companion while travelling.

All information related to the awards offered by Global Finance magazine may be found on its website:  http://www.gfmag.com/



Bahrain: NBK-Bahrain reports net profits of BHD 60 million (equivalent to KWD 48.283 million) for the first half of 2019, up 9 % y-o-y

05.08.2019

National Bank of Kuwait-Bahrain (NBK Bahrain), reported net profits of BHD 60 million (equivalent to KWD 48.283 million) for the first half of 2019 compared with BHD 55 million (equivalent to KWD 44.3 million) for the same period of 2018, a growth of 9 % year-on-year.

As of end of June 2019, NBK-Bahrain’s total assets increased by 12.8 % y-o-y to BHD 6.824 billion, compared with BHD 6.048 billion for the same period of previous year. While total shareholders’ equity increased by 18 % y-o-y to BHD 758.549 million compared with BHD 642.330 million for the same period of previous year.

Isam Al-Sager, NBK Group Chief Executive Officer said “Once again, NBK Group proves its dominance in the regional market and solidifies its leadership position through the outstanding performance of yet another one of its regional operations, NBK-Bahrain. These solid results come in line with the Group’s strategy aimed at strengthening its position throughout MENA region as well as diversifying its revenue streams”.

Al Sager also added that the improved profit performance in NBK Bahrain was attributable to increased operating banking revenues despite the challenging operating environment.

Moreover, Al-Sager affirmed that NBK-Group will continue to focus on its international operations and foster external growth in order to complement its domestic market dominance in Kuwait.

Ali Fardan, NBK-Bahrain General Manager, said “We continue to build on NBK-Group’s clear strategy to focus on our core banking business to consistently drive solid results. In addition to that, we have a very talented and experienced team that backs our operations year after year. I am confident that we are set to achieve further growth in the remaining part of 2019 and beyond.”

NBK has been present in Bahrain since 1977 and enjoys strong and historical relationships with the major Bahraini and international companies. Al Fardan added.

NBK retains its position as one of the most stable  banks in the MENA region, having consistently achieved high credit ratings and being recognized by Global Finance as one of the world’s 50 safest banks.



Kuwait: National Bank of Kuwait has been selected for the leading FTSE4GOOD Index

28.07.2019

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) announced that based on FTSE4Good’s June 2019 index review, NBK has been selected to be a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index Series.  NBK is the only Kuwaiti bank to be included in the prestigious sustainability index.

FTSE Russell’s FTSE4Good Index Series, widely regarded as one of the world’s leading Environment-Social-Governance (ESG) indices, is a key tool in helping investors identify companies that meet globally recognized sustainability standards.  

“Over the last three years, NBK has been proactively evolving our sustainability performance, with a plan to fully meet global sustainability-related standards and to strengthen our position among the leading ESG companies in the GCC,” said Nasser Musaed Al–Sayer, NBK Group Chairman.

“FTSE4Good valuable recognition of NBK Group is a testament to our hard work across the sustainability spectrum over the years.  .” Al-Sayer noted.

“We are extremely proud of our notable contributions to laying solid foundations for sustainable development in line with the strategic national development plan “New Kuwait 2035”. This is perfectly aligned with our leading position that we firmly established through our significant contributions to key environmental and social responsibility initiatives across Kuwait as we aim to provide a model for sustainable development best practices that is focused on our commitment to all national and international regulatory and industrial sustainability frameworks."

NBK has long been considered a leader throughout the Middle East in corporate social responsibility, having donated around KWD 200 million over the last 20 years, including some major financial contributions to dozens of worthy charities and exciting community activities, most notably NBK Children’s Hospital. 

Over the past three years, NBK has expanded the scope of its social contributions in line with the Global Reporting Initiative (known as GRI Standards). NBK has also maintained the good practice of issuing  comprehensive Sustainability Reports in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Through its clearly defined sustainability goals, NBK managed to reduce its consumption of  power by 5.9%, water by 22%, greenhouse gas emissions by 6.8%. the Bank also recycled 92.3 tons of paper, and NBK Tower, its LEED Gold Certificated new echo friendly headquarters, is almost completed.

On the social sustainability front, NBK’s commitment towards its customers was reflected in a new record high customer satisfaction rating of 96% in 2018 (3 points higher than 2017). 

NBK has always been keen on employees’ development, with last year’s development and training programs topping over 80,302 hours. Moreover, female representation in NBK work force exceeds over 45%. 

NBK plays a major role in promoting sustainable development in Kuwait, as it is the key financing partner to the Kuwaiti government in implementing the developmental and environmental projects, mainly the Clean Fuel Project, solar energy projects, Kabad Water Treatment Plant and the wastewater treatment project, in addition to providing financing facilities to major housing, water treatment and hospital building projects. 

NBK is keen on achieving six key sustainability focus areas, as follows:

  • Serving Customers

  • Caring for Our Environment

  • Contributing to Sustainable Economic Development

  • Respecting & Developing People

  • Giving Back to the Community

  • Leading in Governance



Kuwait: NBK reports 12.5% 1H2019 net profit growth, reaching KD 209.1 million

09.07.2019

The National Bank of Kuwait (“NBK”, the “Bank” or the “Group”) has announced its financial results for the 6-month period ended 30 June 2019. NBK reported a net profit of KD 209.1 million (USD 689.7 million), increasing by 12.5% compared to 30 June 2018, with total assets increasing by 3.4% to reach KD 27.9 billion (USD 91.9 billion).

Performance highlights: 1H 2019

  • Net operating income reached KD 451.9 million (USD 1,490.6 million), growing by 2.2% on the first half of 2018

  • Customer loans and advances increased by 6.5% year-on-year to reach KD 16.2 billion (USD 53.5 billion)

  • Customer deposits reached KD 15.5 billion (USD 51.0 billion) increasing by 5.7% year-on-year

  • Continued achievement of strong asset quality metrics, with NPL/gross loans ratio at 1.39% and an NPL coverage ratio of 234%

  • Robust capitalization with Capital Adequacy Ratio of 16.6%, comfortably in excess of regulatory requirements

  • Consistently positive long-term credit ratings reflect conservative approach to risk

     

Commenting on the interim results, NBK Group Chairman, Nasser Al-Sayer, said:

“NBK has delivered strong results for the first half of the year, a consequence of relentless focus on the delivery of our strategy, and by seeking new growth avenues across business segments. We have continued to grow our local and international operations, seeing positive results across consumer, corporate and investment banking units, as well as at our Islamic subsidiary Boubyan Bank. With net operating income growing by 2.2% year-on year, and net profit improving by 12.5%, we’re in a strong position as we enter the second half of the year.”

While the economic environment in Kuwait experienced some headwinds as a result of fiscal pressures, the Group’s management expects sovereign ratings to remain stable and for sustained commitments to New Kuwait 2035 to drive economic growth.

NBK Group CEO, Isam Al-Sager, commented:

“We’re pleased to announce solid results for the first half, and to show how our strategy to diversify operations and digitalize our services has supported the Bank in its objectives to mitigate risk and navigate headwinds. Strong performance across business units demonstrates our potential for further growth during 2019, particularly as we accelerate the roll-out of our Digital Roadmap, designed to achieve operational efficiencies while tapping exciting new revenue streams.”

In 2019, the priorities of the Bank’s management remain focused on delivering value to shareholders, growth across business units – including international operations, which contributed to 26% to 1H profits – and defending the Group’s leadership position in Kuwait. The Group has reaffirmed its commitment to financing large-scale local development projects in support of New Kuwait 2035, contributing directly to the country’s socioeconomic growth and development.

The recent confirmation of Kuwait’s inclusion to the MSCI Emerging Market Index, effective in 2020, is also expected to stimulate around $2.8 billion in passive inflows and an estimated $7 billion in active inflows, further supporting positive investor sentiment towards the local equities market.

NBK retains its position as one of the most stable banks in the MENA region, having consistently achieved high credit ratings and being recognized by Global Finance as one of the World’s 50 Safest Banks.



Egypt: NBK – Egypt reports EGP 510 million (KD 8.9 million) net profits in 1Q 2019 growing by 2.6% YoY

15.05.2019

NBK-Egypt - a member of NBK Group – reported EGP 510 million (KD 8.9 million) net profits in 1Q 2019 up 2.6% y-o-y, compared to EGP 497 million (KD 8.5 million) in the corresponding period of last year.

Total assets reached EGP 70.37 billion as of March 31, 2019, up 18.25% compared to EGP 59.51 billion at the end of 1Q2018. Total customers deposits grew by 20.56% to reach EGP 53.07 billion, compared to EGP 44.02 billion in 1Q2018. While customer loans and advances reached EGP 37.68 billion in 1Q2019, growing by 5.34% compared to EGP 35.77 billion in 1Q2018. 

“NBK-Egypt is one of the most important branches for the Group as it plays a vital role in achieving our income diversification strategy through increasing the contribution of international operations to net profits. The branch provides almost third of the profits attributed to international branches, thus further validating our long-term visionary investment approach in the Egyptian market”. Isam Jassim Al-Sager, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer and NBK-Egypt Chairman said.

Al-Sager pointed out that NBK-Egypt’s outstanding profits and the growth it managed to achieve across all its financial indicators reinforce the Group’s confidence in the Egyptian market, especially that the banks’ profits are mostly operational, reflecting the improved business environment and the stability of the economic scene in Egypt. 

Al-Sager added that NBK-Egypt aims to further expand its market share in the fast -growing retail sector by focusing on providing outstanding banking services while marinating its leading position in the corporate sector through its focus on financing SMEs in order to diversify the bank's credit portfolio. NBK Group is also working on transferring its Fintech expertise to the Egyptian market through NBK-Egypt as part of the Group’s "digital transformation” strategy.

Al-Sager highlighted that in light of the strong 1Q2019 financial results, NBK-Egypt has continued its growth and solid performance across all financial indicators, supported by the Bank's success in overcoming unfavorable market conditions at the beginning of the year, thanks to the prudent policy adopted by the Bank as a member of NBK Group and its business model based on the diversification of its income and credit portfolio while offering flexible financing solutions and providing innovative  banking products at the same time to cater to its customers actual needs derived through detailed in-depth market studies. This is in addition to the bank's solid financial position, strong balance sheets and the experienced and accomplished team that brings comprehensive banking knowledge and extensive experience. 

Al-Sager added that most of NBK-Egypt’s profits are driven by corporate credit services, with a highly diversified portfolio drawing on the diversification of the Egyptian economy itself. He also highlighted that NBK strives to strengthen its position in retail banking as well over the coming period and that it has made huge strides in presenting innovative services and products to its retail clients to fulfill the needs and requirements of various segments.  

He further added that NBK-Egypt has a wide network of 50 branches spread over premium locations in various Egyptian governorates and cities including: Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Delta, Sinai, Red Sea and Upper Egypt, in addition to the industrial zones in 6th of October and 10th of Ramadan cities. The bank is also privileged to be among the elite banks within the Egyptian market that hold an Islamic banking license in addition to its conventional licensing. It has two Islamic branches, one in Cairo and the other in Alexandria, thus enabling the bank to offer a comprehensive selection of Sharia compliant products and services in addition to its traditional offerings, in addition to a wide network of ATMs spread across the country to service the bank’s clients around the clock. Moreover, NBK- Egypt also provides a range of e-services and aims to heavily invest in such technologies to expand its footprint and provide its clients with unique banking experiences that allow them to execute many of their banking transactions anywhere anytime without having to visit the branch.

National Bank of Kuwait was incorporated in 1952 as the first local bank and the first shareholding company in Kuwait and the Gulf region. NBK continues to enjoy collectively one of 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 strong financial indicators, asset quality, high capitalization in addition to its highly recognized and very stable management team, as well as and its disciplined approach to risk management and prudent lending policies. NBK was also named among Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world for the thirteenth consecutive time. NBK enjoys the widest banking presence with a local and international network exceeding over 150 branches and subsidiaries reaching 4 continents. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world’s leading financial centers including the United States of America, Europe, GCC, the Middle East, China as well as Singapore.



Kuwait: NBK reports 1Q 2019 net profit of KD 107.7 million, growing by 15.1%

15.04.2019

Kuwait City, Kuwait, 14 April 2019: The National Bank of Kuwait (“NBK”, the “Bank” or the “Group”) has announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2019. NBK reported a net profit of KD 107.7 million (USD 354.1 million), which increased by 15.1% on the first quarter of 2018, with total assets increasing by 2.4% year on year to reach KD 27.4 billion (USD 90.1 billion).

Commenting on the results, NBK Group Chairman, Nasser Al-Sayer, said:
"NBK's strong results in the first quarter of 2019 are a continuation of the Bank's robust performance, which reflects the success of the Group's strategy to consolidate our leading position in the domestic market while continuing to expand the scope of our international operations to further diversify the Group's profit streams and ensure continued future growth.

NBK’s performance in the first quarter of 2019 confirms the solid financial fundamentals of the Group and its ability to generate revenues from core banking activities. Net operating income increased by 5.7% year-on-year to KD 225.6 million (USD 741.5 million), with growth recorded across almost all business lines.

The domestic operating environment is promising as the government continues with its development plan, thus increased capital spending.

Kuwait’s fiscal position is better than peers given the substantial buffers and strong sovereign ratings; creating room for acceleration in spending despite volatile oil prices and the expected slower growth rates globally.
Furthermore, NBK remains committed to support and finance development projects under Kuwait’s 2035 vision. We aspire to remain the leaders for mega projects financing and play our role in supporting the prosperity of the national economy.”

 NBK Group CEO, Isam Al-Sager, commented:

“We are very proud of the strong financial results reported for the first three months of 2019 as it reflects the success of our diversification strategy and leadership of the Kuwaiti banking sector. Our strategy was further bolstered through the Bank's Islamic banking arm, Boubyan Bank, which continues to contribute positively to the Group’s bottom line and supports the maintenance of a dominant share in the local market.

The strong growth in financial results coincides with NBK's strategy of maintaining asset quality and maximizing the value to shareholders. This is clearly reflected by the improvement in our profitability indicators; where the return on average assets reached 1.59% compared to 1.44% in the first quarter of 2018, while the return on average equity reached 14.5% against 13.2% in the first quarter of 2018.

Moreover, the Bank continued to maintain high levels of capital, with capital adequacy ratio reaching 16.9% as of end of March 2019; exceeding the minimum regulatory requirements.

We aim to better utilize our international operations with an aspiration to further increase its contribution to the Group’s profits. In the first quarter of 2019, our international operations contribution to total Group’s profits reached 25%. In Egypt, we continue to focus on increasing our market share in the retail sector, relying on the transfer of our expertise in providing leading technological solutions to the region's largest market in terms of population; while in KSA, we will seek to grow the client-base and AuMs of our recently launched NBK Wealth Management Company.

In France, NBK’s Paris office was converted into a full subsidiary as a conservative and long-term positioning no matter how Brexit ends up. This will guarantee the Bank’s ability to continue serving clients with business ties within Europe and MENA.

Our diversification strategy is not only limited to our geographical presence, it focuses also on diversifying our products and services offered to our clients. The Bank is investing in implementing the digital transformation strategy via various initiatives that includes all the activities and markets in which we operate. This has already helped us achieve our long-term goals, ensuring that we maintain our leadership and provide the best banking services” Al-Sager concluded.
 



France: NBK – France is our new banking arm in Europe

24.03.2019

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) successfully established NBK France SA after completing all procedures required to convert NBK (International) PLC in Paris into a full subsidiary, as the bank continues to expand its global footprint, especially in the European market through its presence in France, the second largest economy in Europe and the sixth largest economy in the world.

This important step is part of NBK's strategy to strengthen its presence in core markets in line with its strategy aimed to diversify income sources and increase the contribution of international operations to the Group's net profits which jumped to 30.4% in 2018 compared to 29.4% in 2017. International Banking Group’s (IBG) total assets increased by 7.5% year-on-year, reaching KWD 9.8 billion by the end of the year.

“The conversion of NBK (International) PLC in France to a full branch is a major milestone in the bank’s contingency plan to maintain our leadership in the European market no-matter how Brexit ends up”. NBK’s Deputy GCEO Ms. Shaikha Al Bahar said.

Al-Bahar highlighted that the new subsidiary provides access to the European Union (EU) member countries through passporting rights, thus taking over the role performed by NBK London in the event of Brexit.

‘NBK France SA will continue to pursue the Group's strategy to expand in EU markets and focus on supporting trade between Europe and the MENA region, as well as performing its role in providing banking services to NBK clients in Europe. It will also focus on reinforcing relations with European companies that work in Kuwait or intend to further extend their activities in the region”. Al-Bahar added.

Moreover, Al-Bahar highlighted NBK’s focus on offering both residential and commercial real estate financing facilities, as well as other real estate related services in the French market, expressing its importance as a key destination for real estate investments as it attracts great interests from Kuwaiti and GCC investors due to the great opportunities it provides.

International Banking Group (IBG) continues to capitalize on extending our product and service offering through reaching NBK customers in the various geographies that we operate in. 

NBK has the widest international presence in four continents, with operations in 15 countries, 3 of which are in Europe, namely; the UK, France and Switzerland. 



KSA: NBK meets Governor of Riyadh, Prince Faisal bin Bandar

24.03.2019

A delegation from National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) met with Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh province at his office in the Royal Palace to discuss a number of topics related to investment and business.

 The meeting was attended by NBK senior executives;  Isam Jassim Al-Sager - Group Chief Executive Officer at National Bank of Kuwait, Faisal Al-Hamad, CEO, NBK Capital, Malek Khalife. Head of Global Private Banking, and Musaad Al-Sudairy, CEO, NBK Wealth Management.

"Saudi Arabia is a market that carries a wealth of opportunities that are aligned with NBK Group's expansion strategy, focused on seizing regional investment opportunities," said Mr. Issam Jassim Al-Sager, Group CEO, noting that the Kingdom is undergoing a major economic transformation that  will help in positioning it as an attractive business investment environment across various key sectors for global participant.

Al-Sager added that the Saudi market is a cornerstone in the Group’s regional expanding strategy, as we expanded our presence through launching 3 new branches in Riyadh, Jeddah and Damam.  We also entered Saudi Arabia’s wealth management market, through the launch of Al Watani Wealth Management Company, as it has already  finalized hiring staff and started to attract Assets Under Management (AUM). 

He also highlighted that NBK will continue to focus on growing its client base and expanding it AUM in Saudi Arabi through Al-Watani Wealth Management Company, which aims to leave a distinguished footprint in the Saudi Capital Market, in line with the Kingdom's “Vision 2030” and CMA's "Financial Leadership 2020" program aimed at stimulating investments, actively contributing to raising the attractiveness and efficiency of the financial market and enhancing its competitiveness on the regional and international fronts. 

Last year, Al-Watani Wealth Management acquired CMA's license to operate in the Saudi capital market after fulfilling all the requirements and conditions to conduct Dealing as Principal, Investment Fund Management, Discretionary Portfolio Management, Arranging, Advising and Custody activities in the securities business.



Kuwait: NBK Celebrates Outstanding Employees of 2018 During Elite Awards Annual Ceremony

14.03.2019

National Bank of Kuwait held its annual Elite Awards ceremony honoring outstanding employees in the Consumer Banking Group (CBG) in recognition for their efforts during 2018. The ceremony was held at Arraya Ballroom- Courtyard Marriott hotel and attended by leaders of the Bank, Mr. Isam Jassim Al-Sager, NBK Group Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Shaikha Al Bahar, NBK Deputy Group CEO, Mr. Salah Al-Fulaij, NBK Chief Executive Officer-Kuwait, Mr. Sulaiman Al-Marzouk, Deputy Chief Executive Officer-Kuwait, Mr. Mohammed Al Othman, General Manager of Consumer Banking Group, Mr. Emad Al-Ablani, Group General Manager-Human Resources, and Ms. Hanadi Khazal, Chief Marketing Officer, National Bank of Kuwait.

The ceremony recognized the efforts and achievements of CBG employees for 2018, and included entertaining segments.

Speaking of the annual ceremony, Mr. Mohammed Al Othman, General Manager of Consumer Banking Group, said, “The Elite Awards ceremony is one of the significant events organized by NBK annually to honor our employees for their exceptional efforts and performance during the year.

“NBK’s employees are an example of efficiency and progress, and we are committed to investing in their capabilities and careers, which in turn supports our leadership position and the quality services and products we offer to our customers.”

During the ceremony, Al Othman congratulated the employees on their excellent achievements which reflected on the new services and products launched by NBK during the year, notably on NBK Online Banking and NBK Mobile Banking App, providing customers with a faster and more convenient services while maintaining the highest standards of quality and security, as well as always exceeding customers’ expectations.

On her part, Ms. Hanadi Khazal, Chief Marketing Officer, National Bank of Kuwait, said, “We are committed to this annual event to honor those who have played a crucial role in providing the best customer service. We focus on attracting talented professionals and helping them grow opportunities that express their promising potential.”

Khazal pointed out that the positive work environment at NBK and the culture of motivation encourage employees to give their best service. The results were clear with the launch of many services and campaigns during the past year, which have all gained the satisfaction of customers.

Khazal congratulated employees who were honored and stressed that the talents working at NBK helped in launching leading products, and affirmed that the bank will launch unique campaigns and services this year that will continue to meet the needs of every banking segment.

Mr. Hisham Al-Nusf, Assistant General Manager of Consumer Banking Group, added: "NBK employees look forward to this event every year as a reward to their performance and stimulator towards excellency, this will help in maintaining NBK's leadership position in the banking sector in Kuwait.”

NBK's Consumer Banking Group launched and updated many services and products during 2018, including 14 new services and updates on the NBK Mobile Banking App such as the NBK Swift Tracking which allows customers to track their money transfers conveniently anytime, anywhere, and the e-Payments Service to make electronic payments for purchases at a large number of local and international companies such as telecoms, retail facilities, entertainment and more.

NBK also launched the NBK Quick Pay, providing customers with an easy way to receive or transfer amounts from and to friends, or make payments for bills immediately even on weekends or public holidays. And for the first time in Kuwait, NBK enabled its customers to activate their dormant accounts instantly and at their convenience. This is done by logging in to the NBK Mobile Banking App and selecting the “Dormant Account Activation” feature under “Self Services”.

Customers can also update their phone number or email address through the NBK Mobile Banking App saving the trip to the branch.

The NBK Mobile Banking App is a safe method to manage accounts. Customers can conveniently open a new account, view transactions made on accounts and credit cards, check their NBK Miles Points and NBK Rewards Program Points, pay outstanding credit cards receivables, pay bills online, find the nearest branch, ATM or CDM in Kuwait, as well as submit an account statement request, checkbook and other requests.

Always innovating for its customers, NBK also ensured it stays in touch with customers through live Video Chat with service agents, while also launching the NBK SelfiePay through which customers can authenticate their online transactions by a simple face or fingerprint recognition.

In addition to these services, NBK has made new enhancements to ATMs and CDMs for customers to enjoy cardless withdrawals using Civil ID or mobile phone number, and use the NBK Tap & Pay debit card or any NFC-enabled debit card to withdraw or deposit money with only a tap and without inserting their card in the machine.

The bank was also the first to launch the NBK Direct Remit using RippleNet’s Blockchain technology, to deliver fast cross-border transfers to customers. NBK's direct transfer service is completed in record time and is available to all customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



Kuwait: NBK’s AGM was held yesterday with a 79.97% quorum and approved all BOD’s proposals

10.03.2019


NBK’s Chairman Mr. Nasser Al-Sayer affirmed that “NBK Group has achieved strong performance across all business segments in 2018. Such strong results reflect the success of the bank’s strategy aimed to expand its international operations and increase their contribution to the Group's profits, in line with NBK’s keenness to affirm its leadership in the local market”.

This was part of Al-Sayer’s message at NBK’s Ordinary (AGM) and Extraordinary (EGM) General Assembly meeting for 2018 that was held today (Saturday. 9 March 2019), at which there was a quorum of 79.97 %. The AGM and EGM approved the Board of Directors’ recommendation to distribute 35% cash dividend to shareholders (equivalent to 35 fils per share) and the distribution of 5% bonus shares (5 shares for every 100 shares owned).

Al-Sayer added that NBK continued its strong financial performance in 2018, achieving a record annual net profit of KD 371 million compared to KD 322 million in 2017, a growth of 15% y-o-y.

Comprehensive Diversification 

Al-Sayer said that NBK has made significant progress in its pursuit of the diversification strategy. He added that the strategy is not limited to the Bank's products and services but extends to expanding its operations in all the markets it operates as its continuously seeks more opportunities, in addition to committing to digital transformation, which will enable the Group to continue its growth in the future.

Al-Sayer also assured the role that NBK plays in supporting economic growth and the agenda of ‘New Kuwait 2035’, stating that NBK is the no.1 bank for financing public and private projects, a status that it intends to maintain. 

As global oil prices improved in the first half of last year, it 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. He confirmed the strength of the Kuwaiti economy despite fluctuations in oil prices and this is borne out by the strong sovereign credit ratings that it has maintained, adding that further reforms are still required to boost longer-term growth potential.

Record Results

NBK’s Group CEO Mr. Isam Al-Sager said that “NBK continued its strong performance during 2018 achieving record net profits. The solid results reflect the Bank’s solid financial performance and the soundness of its risk-mitigation strategy through diversifying its sources of income and expanding into new geographies, while maintaining competitive advantage in the local market by providing conventional and Islamic banking services through our subsidiary Boubyan Bank”.

He highlighted that NBK maintained a conservative approach to risk mitigation, reflected in the confirmation of strong long-term credit ratings. The Bank’s robust asset quality metrics held steady, with the NPL/gross loans ratio at 1.38% and an NPL coverage ratio of 228.1%. The Group maintained a high level of capitalization, with a capital adequacy ratio of 17.2% as of the end of 2018, comfortably in excess of the Central Bank of Kuwait’s requirement.

He highlighted the growth of NBK’s balance sheet in 2018, with total assets increasing by 5.4% to reach KD 27.4 billion, whereas shareholders’ equity was up by 3.3% y-o-y, as it stood at KD 2.95 billion. Customer loans and advances increased by 6.9% to KD 15.5 billion, while customer deposits increased by 4.4% to reach KD 14.4 billion.

Al-Sager added: “NBK managed to maintain high profitability as it constituted 38% of the aggregate profits reported by the banking sector in Kuwait, which is a testament to the strength of our leading position in the local market”.

Strong leadership

Al-Sager stressed that NBK's has a leading and prominent position in the Kuwaiti market based on solid fundamentals reflected by the strength of all financial indicators and large balance sheet.

 Al-Sager mentioned that a core component of the diversification theme in 2018 was the considerable effort made by the Bank towards its digital transformation. The programme is cross-segment and cross-geography, impacting internal processes and systems as well as the experience and opportunities of our customers. He highlighted that the successful efforts in that regard positioned the bank for the next generation in digital banking services.

He also pointed out to NBK’s Key role in supporting Kuwait’s economic growth as it is the no.1 bank for financing mega public projects, besides that, the Bank’s strategy is aligned with the objectives outlined in  the government’s development plan ‘New Kuwait 2035’.

Al-Sager concluded: “Our primary objective is to deliver superior returns to shareholders, which we will achieve by defending our leadership of core businesses, maintaining our dominant share of the domestic Kuwaiti market, achieving growth in target segments and exploiting our international presence”.

The Bank of the Future

Commenting on NBK’s solid performance throughout 2018, NBK’s Deputy GCEO Ms. Shaikha Al Bahar said: “What we achieved in 2018 makes it a special year across the board. We successfully managed to develop a road map to attain our strategic objective to be the bank of the future, thus maintain our leadership both locally and internationally. That was made possible through the successful implementation of our digital transformation strategy, which in turn, reflected throughout all our activities and services, in addition to exponentially growing our international operations across all markets we operate in”.

These successes were clearly reflected in the Group's performance in 2018 with operating profit growing by 8.9% to KD 606.9 million, noting that the increase in profit was driven by growth in financing activities, growth in income from fees and commissions, and the effective cost management policies resulted in a cost-to-income ratio of 31.3%.

Expanded Global Footprint

Al-Bahar reflected on the expansion of NBK Group’s international banking operations in 2018, as it accounted for 30.4% of the Group’s net profit, increasing from a contribution of 29.4% in 2017. She highlighted the importance of NBK’s international operations, stressing that: “The growth of international operations is a key factor in maintaining NBK's leadership. International operations are not limited only to geographic expansion but also increase the Bank's ability to provide a wider range of unique services that sets us apart from our competitors”.

“Our focus on expanding NBK’s international operation in 2018 was mainly focused on the Egyptian market which constitutes about one third of our international banking group’s profits, as we provided a wider range of unique services that differentiate the Bank from other competitors. This year in Egypt, a strong emphasis was placed on building the quality and reach of the Consumer Banking business, to diversify in terms of both income and operations”, Al-Bahar added.

She pointed out that NBK managed to affirm its position, as it injected more investments through increasing its branches in the Kingdom, and the launch of Al Watani Wealth Management business, as it managed to finalize hiring staff and started to attract assets under management. This is a huge milestone which supports NBK Capital in its broader objective to become the Group’s investment product design platform, product manager and asset manager for clients in Kuwait and the region. 

As for the Bank’s operations in Europe, Al-Bahar pointed out that NBK’s Paris office was converted into a full subsidiary as a conservative and long-term positioning no-matter how Brexit ends up.

Digital Transformation

Speaking on the Group’s investment in technology and innovation, Al-Bahar confirmed that NBK has made considerable strides in 2018, in line with NBK’s ongoing efforts to implement its comprehensive digital transformation strategy which covers all the activities and markets it operates in, as well as internal work systems and operations. This is an important driver for the growth of our digital offering, and an essential step towards maximizing coverage and improving the banking experience.
“The most important achievement of 2018 was the completion of NBK’s Digital Roadmap, which is focused on building a “digital mindset” for the Bank, to support our effort towards offering our customers the most innovative products and services.” Al-Bahar stated.

Al-Bahar mentioned that the digital transformation strategy aims at developing mobile and internet banking services. New features launched in 2018 included upgraded mobile banking, video chat through mobile and online banking, selfie-pay and a host of ATM enhancements.

Mega Deals

Meanwhile, NBK-Kuwait CEO, Mr. Salah Al Fulaij said: “NBK had a great performance in 2018 despite challenging business environment in the local and regional markets, in addition to the oil market volatility throughout the year”.

Al-Fulaij affirmed that NBK continued to consolidate its leadership through its participation in the largest financing deals across various key sectors in Kuwait. The priority was to confirm the bank's leadership in the local market, as we managed to have 25% of the market.

Al-Fulaij highlighted the key transaction that NBK participated in which included participation in a KD 390 million term loan for KIPIC, of which NBK accounted for 35%, i.e. KD 140 million. NBK also provided a USD 500 million credit facility in the international commercial finance tranche of Duqm Refinery in Oman, in which NBK also acted as the credit facility agent for the USD 1.43 billion international trade financing segment provided to the refinery.

 He pointed out that the above mentioned  mega deals were alongside a series of other smaller deals for the KPC group of companies, with whom the Bank has a close relationship, as the ‘house bank’ for KPC and its subsidiaries.

“The Group’s main objectives are to act as the primary banker for leading local companies and to remain the bank of choice for foreign companies, continuing to serve at least 75% of them locally. It also aims to maintain a Trade Finance market share of over 30%. In achieving the above, we continue to offer a wide range of services, expanding our coverage and broadening the range of products we offer”, Al-Fulaij said.

Innovative Services

Al-Fulaij confirmed that NBK has been at the forefront of promoting digital transformation, stating that in recognition of its leadership in digital banking products, Global Finance presented three awards to NBK, including Best in Mobile Banking (Consumer, Kuwait), Best Consumer Digital Bank (Kuwait) and Best Mobile Banking App (Consumer, Kuwait). 

That prominent position was a result of introducing new services and unique enhancements in 2018 in NBK Mobile banking offerings such as an easy registration process, e-payment services for various services in the education, telecom, entertainment sectors.

Al-Fulaij pointed out that the excellence of the services provided by the bank is supported by the key role played by our human capital. Currently, NBK employs over 6,000 employees from 53 different nationalities across four continents around the world. We are also proud of having a 45% female employees representation within the Group, which is a remarkable achievement in the banking sector and the regional labor market.
Al-Fulaij concluded by saying that NBK is the biggest contributor to CSR, as it is at the forefront of private sector organizations when it comes to dedications of environmental, social and economic initiatives and programs, including NBK’s ongoing and direct investment in NBK Children’s Hospital, which houses a Stem Cell Therapy Unit along with Pediatric Hematology and Oncology facilities, in addition to NBK  awareness campaigns covering a wide range of health, environmental, cultural, mother and child initiatives.



Kuwait: NBK Wins “Best Bank in Liquidity Management Middle East” and “Best Treasury and Cash Management in Kuwait” Awards by Global Finance for 2019

06.03.2019


In its annual survey which gathers the opinion of hundreds of established financial experts, analysts, senior consultancy and executives from around the world, Global Finance Magazine awarded the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) two new awards for the year 2019, the first is the “Best Bank for Liquidity Management Middle East and North Africa” and the second is “Best Treasury and Cash Management in Kuwait”.

Global Finance Magazine rates the best providers in treasury and cash management based on a variety of criteria that comprise profitability, market share, customer service, competitive pricing, innovative products and the level to which these institutions exceed their competitors in terms of providing treasury and cash management services.

The Magazine then announces the winners in the four sub-categories in 65 countries and seven geographic regions across the world, covering Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, the North Region, North America and Western Europe.

The awards ceremony will be held on the sidelines of the International Banking Operations Seminar, SIBOS 2019, which will be hosted in London in September.

Headquartered in New York, Global Finance was founded in 1987 and has over 50,000 readers from 188 countries. Global Finance’s audience includes Chairmen, Presidents, CEOs, CFOs, Treasurers and other senior financial officers responsible for making investment and strategic business decisions at multinational companies and financial institutions.

Each year, Global Finance selects the best financial institutions in a thorough survey around the world. These awards have become a recognized and trusted standard of excellence, regionally and internationally.

NBK maintains the highest credit ratings among banks in the Middle East, receiving leading ratings from leading agencies such as Moody's, Fitch and Standard & Poor's. NBK has a strong capitalization and prudent lending policies, a systematic approach to asset management, and a stable management.

NBK is also ranked among the 50 safest banks in the world for the 13th consecutive year, and has been awarded the “Best Bank in Kuwait” by The Banker, Euromoney and Global Finance in 2018.



Egypt: NBK – Egypt achieves EGP 2.002 billion (KD 34.2 million) in net profits for FY2018

28.02.2019

NBK-Egypt - a member of NBK Group – reported EGP 2.002 billion (equivalent to KD 34.2 million) in net profits for FY2018 up 33.22% compared to EGP 1.503 billion (equivalent to KD 26 million) for FY2017.

Total assets reached EGP 73.50 billion as of the end of 2018 up 24.56% compared to EGP 59.01 billion at the end of 2017. Total customers deposits grew by 30.11% for the year to reach EGP 53.16 billion, compared to EGP 40.86 billion by the end of 2017. While customer loans and facilities to customers reached EGP 38.64 billion as of end FY2018, growing by 13.95% year-on-year, compared to EGP 33.91 billion in 2017. 

Isam Jassim Al-Sager, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer and NBK-Egypt Chairman said that the strong growth achieved by NBK-Egypt is a testament to the success of its vision aimed at affirming its position in the Egyptian market, which is one of the main growth markets for NBK Group, given its promising growth opportunities and positive prospects.

Mr. Al-Sager pointed out that the strength of NBK-Egypt’s profits stems primarily from being operationally driven by improved business environment, reflecting the stability of the economic scene in Egypt.

He indicated that this stability will create new investment and financing opportunities for the bank, which in turn will contribute to improving the level of product integration between NBK-Egypt and the Group, thus strengthening its position in the Egyptian market.

Al-Sager confirmed that NBK Group's investments in Egypt are of strategic and long-term nature. NBK-Egypt is considered one of the most important branches for the Group as the branch provides almost third of the profits attributed to international branches, reflecting NBK Group’s confidence in the Egyptian market and its desire to further expand its presence as part of the Egyptian banking sector. 

Meanwhile, Managing Director of NBK-Egypt, Dr. Yasser Hasan highlighted the bank’s continuous growth and solid performance across all financial indicators driven by its conservative strategy as part of NBK Group and its business model based on the diversification of its income and credit portfolio while offering flexible financing solutions and providing innovative financial products at the same time to cater to its customers actual needs derived through detailed in-depth market studies. This is in addition to the bank's solid financial position, strong balance sheets and stable management.

Dr. Hasan added that most of NBK-Egypt’s profits are driven by corporate credit services, with a highly diversified portfolio drawing on the diversification of the Egyptian economy itself. He also highlighted that NBK strives to strengthen its position in retail banking as well over the coming period and that it has made huge strides in presenting innovative services and products to its retail clients to fulfill the needs and requirements of various segments.  

He further added that NBK-Egypt has a wide network of 50 branches spread over premium locations in various Egyptian governorates and cities including: Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Delta, Sinai, Red Sea and Upper Egypt, in addition to the industrial zones in 6th of October and 10th of Ramadan cities. The bank is also privileged to be among the elite banks within the Egyptian market that hold an Islamic banking license in addition to its conventional licensing.

It has two Islamic branches, one in Cairo and the other in Alexandria, thus enabling the bank to offer a comprehensive selection of Sharia compliant products and services in addition to its traditional offerings. Moreover, NBK- Egypt also provides a range of e-services, and aims to heavily invest in such technologies to expand its footprint and provide its clients with unique banking experiences that allow them to execute many of their banking transactions anywhere anytime without having to visit the branch.

National Bank of Kuwait was incorporated in 1952 as the first local bank and the first shareholding company in Kuwait and the Gulf region. NBK continues to enjoy collectively one of 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 strong financial indicators, asset quality, high capitalization in addition to its highly recognized and very stable management team, as well as and its disciplined approach to risk management and prudent lending policies. NBK was also named among Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world for the thirteenth consecutive time.

NBK enjoys the widest banking presence with a local and international network exceeding over 150 branches and subsidiaries reaching 4 continents. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world’s leading financial centers including the United States of America, Europe, GCC, Middle East, China as well as Singapore.



Kuwait: NBK implement a Collective Executive Development Program with INSEAD

21.02.2019

The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) partnered with one of the leading international business schools, INSEAD, in an intensive training program specifically designed for the Bank’s executive management team.

Since the banking industry worldwide is facing significant challenges.  Digital disruption and FinTechs challenge existing banking models. Digital has fundamentally changed our lives. Adapting to the ongoing digitization of the economy, and of society in general, is arguably the most challenging transformation every business is currently facing. Due to competition from local and regional players, strategies are reassessed in various parts of the world (GCC, ASEAN, LATAM, EU).

In this turbulent world, there is an imperative need to assess the situation, to identify key-strategic actions, and to further develop senior banking executives in terms of organizational and personal skills related to related to digital strategy, customer-centric strategies, leadership, strategy execution and management of change.

National Bank of Kuwait - INSEAD program - Creating Value in a Fast Changing Banking World has two main objectives.  First, a discussion of the fast changing banking world, including digital disruption with identification by NBK senior executives of key-strategic actions to undertake. Second, the further development of senior NBK executives to lead the strategy execution and changes, both in terms of personal and organizational skills

During the program, Mr. Isam J. Al-Sager, Group Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Shaikha K. Al-Bahar, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer and Mr. Salah Y. Al-Fulaij, Chief Executive Officer – Kuwait visited the participants.

Mr. Emad Al-Ablani, said, “This program adds new value in the changing banking industry as it provides essential training led by a prestigious educational institution, INSEAD. The program aims to highlight the challenges facing our industry in a digital transformation era and comes in line with our strategy at NBK to ensure our human capital is well equipped to deliver efficient solutions in our digital transformation journey.”

Mr. Al Ablani added that NBK is proud to provide the best training opportunities for the employees and the executive managers in cooperation with the world's leading institutions and universities, enabling them to acquire new skills and knowledge at par with their global peers.

Mr. Al-Ablani also mentioned: “NBK provides a unique environment for training and developing employees to enhance their skills, foster a culture of self-development and recognize their career growth on the long term.”

INSEAD is one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools, It offers participants a truly global educational experience. With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and Middle East (Abu Dhabi), In addition, more than 11,000 executives participate in INSEAD's executive education programs each year.



Kuwait: NBK Sponsors Second Annual “ECOH” Conference on Blockchain Technology

20.02.2019

National Bank of Kuwait sponsored the second annual “ECOH” Conference which held discussions about the Blockchain technology and focused on the significance of this emerging technology and its growing use in business sectors.

Organized by East Chain Co., the Conference took place from the 30th to the 31st of January, and hosted professionals and entrepreneurs from around the world. Discussions explored the opportunities and possibilities that are presented by the technology and aimed to educate participants about its latest advancements and challenges. The Business Banking unit at NBK extended an invitation to its customers to take part in the panel discussions.

The Business Banking team was present at the Conference to respond to customers’ queries as part of the Bank’s commitment to supporting small and medium enterprises and Kuwaiti entrepreneurs.

The ECOH Conference also shed light on the Blockchain technology’s ecosystem and how it supports and reimagines financial services. The discussions also tapped into the regulatory framework that is required to help companies prepare to take advantage of the technology.

Speaking of NBK’s participation at the Conference, Mohammed Akram Hashim, Head of Segments, Consumer Banking Group, National Bank of Kuwait, said: “We are delighted to be the sponsor of the second “ECOH” Conference, supporting its goals of raising awareness about Blockchain technology and how it complements various business sectors.

NBK was the first bank in Kuwait to launch the cross-border remittance service using the Ripple solution on the Blockchain technology.”

Hashim added:” Launching NBK Direct Remit Service using RippleNet was a significant achievement as it enabled our customers to make money transfers within seconds, easily and at their convenience anytime of the day. It comes as part of our commitment to responding to the needs of our customers wherever they are around the world.”

Hashim affirmed that NBK ensures its services adopt the latest technological advancements made in the banking sector to provide its customers with convenient and fast services that increase their trust and maintain the highest levels of security and safety.

NBK is committed to supporting conferences, events and knowledge sharing sessions that contribute to increasing awareness about new innovations in the banking sector, thus providing customers access to a superior banking experience.



Kuwait: Global Finance awarded NBK “Best Private Banking Services” in Kuwait

17.02.2019

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has been awarded the “Best Private Banking Services for 2019” in Kuwait for the fifth consecutive year.

Founded in 1987 and headquartered in New York City, Global Finance is one of the leading financial magazines with a mission to publish specialized economic reports and analysis. Its monthly circulation exceeds 50,000 in over 188 countries around the world.

Global Finance’s editorial review board relies on input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts, in addition to entry submissions provided by nominated banks as well as a series of independent research based on measurable indicators and criteria for assessing banks’ performance.

The nominated banks for this year were assessed for their private banking services extended over the period from July 2017 until June 2018.

 “Awarding NBK the title of "Best Private Banking Services" in Kuwait for the fifth consecutive year reflects the constant confidence the customers vest in NBK and their appreciation of the superb quality of its services and products, as well as its ability to rise above all challenges” said Malek Khalife, Deputy CEO – Head of Global Private Banking.

He added: “The excellent, strong and durable relationships NBK has always maintained with its high net-worth customers enabled the bank to assume a unique and leading position in the field of wealth management and private banking on both local and regional markets.

NBK also succeeded in maintaining the highest service quality standards while consistently endeavoring to provide the most innovative spectrum of investment and wealth management products and solutions to satisfy the increasingly changing needs of customers.”

“Thanks to its largest local and international network strategically located in the major world financial centers, NBK has always maintained a dominant and advanced position to provide the best banking and investment solutions that covers a wide range of international markets, taking into consideration the specific profile of each and every customer,” noted Khalife.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to both the trust of NBK clients as well as the invaluable efforts of the Private Banking team at NBK that enabled the bank to win such a prestigious title for the fifth consecutive year,” said Khalife

Global Finance “Best Private Banking Services Award” recognizes private banks that provide excellent services and products to meet high net worth investors’ individual needs through providing tailored products and services to help them maintain and grow their wealth.

For more information relating to the prizes awarded by Global Finance, please visit their website at http://www.gfmag.com/
 



Kuwait: NBK Awarded “Top 10 GCC Businesses Award” by SCCI

11.02.2019

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) National Bank of Kuwait was awarded “Top 10 GCC Businesses Award” by Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). The award is in recognition of the bank’s efforts, vital role and positive contributions in promoting the private sector investments in the GCC.

NBK – UAE General Manager, Tareq Al-Mudhaf received the award at a ceremony held at the Sharjah Expo Center. The event was attended by a number of dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corps as well as directors of government institutions and private companies.

Launched in 2002, Sharjah Economic Excellence Network Award consists of seven different categories and is based on the model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), a comprehensive management model employed by more than 30,000 establishments around the world. Participants are required to submit a comprehensive management framework to be nominated for the award.

The Top 10 GCC Businesses Award is open for the nomination of major private companies based on the number of employees. The award is offered to establishments with the most contributions to support GCC companies in recognition of their efforts to enhance corporate performance and promote business growth.

Receiving such a prestigious award is a testimony to the successful implementation of NBK's strategy aimed at diversifying its business, which extends to its product and service offering and its reach into existing geographies.

In line with  NBK's efforts to develop its regional corporate banking activities, especially within the GCC region, it has recently launched Al Watani Wealth Management Company in Saudi Arabia, which is a key millstone to  strengthen the bank’s leadership position in the region and deliver maximum  added value to its customers through offering  unique banking services and products.

NBK set up in the UAE by opening its first branch in Dubai in 2008 to capture Kuwaiti linkages and service Group relationships locally. The branch offers full commercial banking services across a broad spectrum of areas including trade, contractor, corporate, retail and treasury.

For more information on the Sharjah Economic Excellence Award granted by Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), please refer to their website at: http://www.sharjah.gov.ae/Common/OurServicesMenu?MenuId=10105



Bahrain: NBK-Bahrain reports net profits of BHD 118 million (equivalent to KWD 95.2 million) for 2018, up 26% y-o-y

10.02.2019

National Bank of Kuwait-Bahrain (NBK Bahrain), , reported net profits of BHD 118 million(equivalent to KWD 95.2 million) for the year 2018 compared with BHD  93.5 million(equivalent to KWD 75.3 million) in 2017, a growth of 26% year-on-year.

As of end of 2018, NBK-Bahrain’s total assets increased by 9% y-o-y to BHD 6.3 billion, compared with BHD 5.8 billion in 2017. While total shareholders’ equity increased by 14% y-o-y to BHD 683.3 million.

Customer deposits increased by 7% y-o-y to BHD 3.2 billion
Isam Al-Sager, NBK Group Chief Executive Officer said “The Bank’s strong results affirm the success of NBK Group’s regional expansion strategy that is built on a culture of prudence and strict risk management practices.”
Al-Sager pointed out that the strength of NBK-Bahrain’s profits stems primarily from being operationally.

Al-Sager added: “the strong growth achieved by NBK-Bahrain is a testament to the success of its vision aimed at affirming its position in the Bahraini market, which is one of the main growth markets for NBK Group, given its promising growth opportunities and positive prospects”.

 “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.” Al-Sager added

Ali Fardan, NBK-Bahrain General Manager, said “This strong performance reflects our conservative management as we have consistently focused on our core business and ways to diversify sources of income. We continue to grow our operations locally by developing new products to serve our customers benefiting from the support of NBK Group.”

NBK has been present in Bahrain since 1977 and enjoys strong and historical relationships with the major Bahraini and international companies. Al Fardan added.

NBK continues to enjoy collectively one of 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.

NBK was also named among Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world for the twelve consecutive times and was awarded as the Best Bank in Kuwait in 2017 by the Banker, Euromoney and Global Finance.
NBK enjoys the widest banking presence with a local and international network reaching 4 continents. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world’s leading financial centers including New York, Europe, GCC, Middle East, Singapore as well as China (Shanghai).
 



Kuwait: NBK Engages Customers in Latest Digital Services at Ongoing Activation held at The Avenues

07.02.2019

As part of its ongoing investments in providing advanced and safe technologies and services, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) is engaging with customers in an activation held at The Avenues Phase 2 until Saturday, February 9, during which the Bank focuses on presenting the latest digital banking services it has designed to serve the various needs of its customers.

First launched on Wednesday, February 6, in the presence of members of the press and NBK’s management, the ongoing activation provides customers with a live presentation of the services that benefit their lifestyles. A draw will be held on Saturday for customers of NBK who took part of the activation for a chance to win one of two smartwatches.

 

Speaking of the activation and the services of the Bank, Mohammed Al Othman, General Manager of the Consumer Banking Group, said: “NBK is committed to offering technologically-advanced services that are safe for our customers. These services are constantly introduced and updated on the NBK Mobile Banking App aimed at providing convenient and secure services that enable customers to complete their banking transactions quickly and easily without the need to visit their nearest branch or during their travels.”

 

Al Othman added: “We wanted to present these services on a one-to-one basis to allow customers to test these services and be familiarized with them. Of course, we took the opportunity to also reward our customers, giving them the chance to win a smartwatch by visiting our booth until Saturday, February 9, where they can inquire about how to enter the draw. 

 

Al Othman further expanded on the services saying: “We gave customers an introduction to new services and enhancements made to our NBK Mobile Banking App, ATMs and CDMs. Customers can take advantage of services such as cardless withdrawals thanks to the NBK Tap & Pay Debit Card or any other card that provides the feature, all to ensure an easy and enjoyable banking experience.”

 

One of the enhancements is the NBK Swift Tracking service through which customers can track their money transfers conveniently anytime, anywhere by simply logging in to the NBK Mobile Banking App and clicking on the account statement history to view the status of their transfer.

 

NBK also launched the standing orders service through the NBK Mobile Banking App that will allow customers to establish a monthly standing order through the App to make automatic recurring transfers, in addition to making amendments or deleting these standing orders.

 

The NBK Mobile Banking App also features the e-Payments Service to make electronic payments for purchases at a large number of local and international companies such as telecoms, retail facilities, entertainment and more.

 

As for the NBK Quick Pay, NBK provides its customers with an easy way to receive or transfer amounts from and to friends, or make payments for bills immediately even on weekends or public holidays.

 

And for the first time in Kuwait, NBK lets its customers activate their dormant accounts instantly and at their convenience. This is done by logging in to the NBK Mobile Banking App and selecting the “Dormant Account Activation” feature under “Self Services”.

 

Customers can also update their phone number or email address through the NBK Mobile Banking App saving the trip to the branch.

 

The NBK Mobile Banking App is a safe method to manage accounts. Customers can conveniently open a new account, view transactions made on accounts and credit cards, check their NBK Miles Points and NBK Rewards Program Points, pay outstanding credit cards receivables, pay bills online, find the nearest branch, ATMs or CDMs in Kuwait, as well as submit an account statement request, checkbook and other requests.

 

In addition to these features, NBK Mobile Banking is a great companion while travelling as it allows customers to manage their cards, increase their monthly transfer limit, and update their contact details.

 

NBK strives to provide integrated and advanced banking solutions to its customers, and continues to expand its product and service offering and provides easy and secure payment solutions that meet the needs and requirements of customers.

NBK continues to introduce innovative and the newest technology solutions to meet the needs of customers, having partnered with RippleNet to offer customers a fast, safe and convenient cross border payments service, and making NBK the first bank in Kuwait to join the growing network of RippleNet globally.



Kuwait: NBK Celebrates Graduates of its Leadership Development Program, Held in Partnership with Harvard Business School

03.02.2019

The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) celebrated the graduation of participants in its “Leading the Execution of a Strategy in Financial Services” program that was held in partnership with the Harvard Business School and the Institute of Banking Studies. Having taken place between January 26 and 31, 2019, the program was attended by 12 managers of various departments in NBK.

The graduation was attended by Mr. Isam J. Al-Sager, Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Yousef J. Al-Obaid, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait, Mr. Emad Al-Ablani General Manager of Group Human Resources and Dr. Yaqoub Al-Rifai, Director General of the Institute of Banking Studies.

Ensuring the program covered the latest studies and advancements made in the banking and financial sector, Harvard Business School focused on providing a series of real-life situations and interactive activities that aimed at improving the participants’ problem-solving and analytical skills. Participants received a degree from the Harvard Business School at the end of the program.

The program was designed specifically for executive managers of divisions at NBK, and adopts the high educational standards of the Harvard Business School and is based on practical case studies that the School is renowned for.

The program is also one of the development initiatives organized by the Institute of Banking Studies. The principal objective of these initiatives is to develop professionals and executive manager in Kuwaiti banks.

The first of these programs was held in 2010 and participation was limited to the Central Bank of Kuwait and Kuwaiti banks that are members of the Institute. The success of these programs expanded the reach in 2011 to include the GCC countries.

NBK has the largest participation in the program this year. The program is held annually, each year in a GCC country, with Kuwait the most recent one which was attended by manager at the Central Bank of Kuwait, Kuwaiti banks, and other Gulf banks and financial institutions.

Harvard Business School is one of the oldest and most prestigious American universities in the world. The School has graduated leading figures in the American and world’s business community since 1636 and ranks first among the top 100 universities in the world.

NBK is committed to the professional development of its employees and enrolls them in development programs held in partnership with leading international universities and institutions. The Bank also supports and encourages employees to seek self-development through training programs and continued education.



Kuwait: NBK Celebrates the Graduation of 5 Cohorts of “Moody’s Credit Curriculum Program”

26.01.2019

The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) celebrated the graduation of 5 Cohorts of the “Moody's Credit Curriculum Program”, which was designed and organized in partnership with the international credit rating agency, Moody's Analytics.

The ceremony was attended by Mr. Salah Y. Al-Fulaij, Chief Executive Officer – Kuwait, Mr. Sulaiman Al-Marzouq, Deputy CEO - Kuwait, Mr. Emad Al-Ablani General Manager of Group Human Resources and senior representatives from the Bank.

The Moody's Credit Curriculum program extended over a year and a half, and introduced an array of topics including banking services, financial analysis, risk management, structure risk, credit challenges, financing, and problem credits.

Congratulating the newly certified employees, Emad Al-Ablani said: “NBK has adopted a strategy that aims to invest in its employees’ skillset and capitalize on their potential in order to reach the highest levels of professionalism in the industry. Our ultimate goal is to provide them with the best employee value proposition and corporate experience. Indeed, the Bank aims to maintain its position as a leader in the market and our human capital is the main pillar and driver of our success”.


Moody's is one of the best and oldest financial corporations specializing in economic research, financial analysis and evaluation of private and government institutions in terms of strength, financial position and creditworthiness.



Kuwait: NBK reports FY net profit of KD 370.7 million, growing by 15% in 2018

17.01.2019

The National Bank of Kuwait (“NBK”, the “Bank” or the “Group”) has announced its financial results for the 12-month period ended 31 December 2018.

NBK reported a net profit of KD 370.7 million (USD 1.2 billion), which increased by 15.0% on 2017, with total assets increasing by 5.4% to reach KD 27.4 billion (USD 90.4 billion). Customer loans and advances increased by 6.9% to KD 15.5 billion (USD 51.1 billion), while customer deposits increased by 4.4% to reach KD 14.4 billion (USD 47.4 billion). The Group’s Board of Directors has proposed a cash dividend distribution of 35 fils per share, representing 35.0% of the nominal share value in addition to 5% bonus shares, all subject to approval by shareholders at the AGM.

NBK maintained a conservative approach to risk, reflected in the confirmation of strong long-term credit ratings. The Bank’s robust asset quality metrics held steady, with the NPL/gross loans ratio at 1.38% and an NPL coverage ratio of 228.1%. The Group maintained a high level of capitalization, with a capital adequacy ratio of 17.2%, comfortably in excess of the Central Bank of Kuwait’s requirement.

Commenting on the results, NBK Group Chairman, Nasser Al-Sayer, said:
“We are pleased to report another year of solid performance. The Bank has continued to benefit from Kuwait’s strong fiscal position, which largely protected the country from regional economic volatility during the year. GDP growth is projected to reach 2.2%, and the pipeline of scheduled project awards remains strong.

The role that NBK will play in supporting economic growth and the agenda of ‘New Kuwait 2035’ is assured, as it remains the bank of choice for financing public and private projects.

Having increased the scale and contribution of our international operations, while consolidating our leadership position in Kuwait, 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.”

Group net operating income grew by 7.4% year-on-year to reach KD 883.2 million (USD 2.9 billion), with improved earnings driven by an increasingly diverse range of income generators from across business units. Non-interest income accounted for 22% of net operating income in 2018 with robust fee generation across units, as the Bank continues to seek opportunities for improving non-interest income. International banking operations accounted for 29% of the Group’s net profit, increasing from a contribution of 28% in 2017.

Islamic Banking, through subsidiary Boubyan Bank, provided further diversity to the income profile, with a growing contribution to Group net profit.

NBK Group CEO, Isam Al-Sager, commented:
“While the local and regional banking sector faced challenges due to a high level of liquidity putting pressure on credit growth, NBK recorded another set of exceptional results, as the breadth of its operations and the scale of our international footprint mitigated risk.

Earnings from our core banking activities clearly reflect NBK’s underlying institutional strength, which is supported by a strategy that hedges risk by diversifying income across products, customer types and geographies, while maintaining a competitive advantage in the domestic market through both a conventional and Islamic offer.

NBK remains a safe haven, in light of its high credit ratings and recognition of its prudent risk management approach – as borne out by another year of inclusion in Global Finance’s list of the World’s 50 Safest Banks.

A core component of the diversification theme in 2018 was the considerable effort made by the Bank towards its digital transformation. The programme is cross-segment and cross-geography, impacting internal processes and systems as well as the experience and opportunities of our customers.”

Effective cost management policies saw cost growth of just 4.1%, compared with 5.3% in 2017, resulting in a cost-to-income ratio of 31.3% compared with 32.3% in the previous year. The Bank’s profitability metrics delivered positive results, with return on average assets of 1.38% compared with 1.28% in 2017 and return on average equity of 12.0% compared with 10.8% for the previous year. Basic earnings per share (EPS) were 58 fils at year-end (50 fils in 2017), with equity attributable to shareholders increasing by 3.3% to KD 2.9 billion (USD 9.7 billion).
Al-Sager concluded:

“Our strategic pathway remains essentially unchanged. Our primary objective is to deliver superior returns to shareholders, which we will achieve by defending our leadership of core businesses, maintaining our dominant share of the domestic Kuwaiti market, achieving growth in target segments and exploiting our international presence. Having achieved particularly robust performance in Egypt, we will look to consolidate and build upon recent growth in that market; while in Saudi Arabia we will seek to grow the client-base and AuMs of the recently launched Al Watani Wealth Management Company. We look forward to maintaining our commitment to both customers and shareholders, as we build a more diverse and sophisticated banking offer.”



Kuwait: NBK Academy Celebrates Graduation of 20th Batch of Employees

07.01.2019

The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) celebrated the graduation of its 20th batch of newly recruited employees from its annual NBK Academy which develops the skills of university graduates and qualifies them to work in the banking sector.

The ceremony was attended by the Chief Executive Officer - Kuwait at the National Bank of Kuwait, Mr. Salah Al-Fulaij, the Deputy CEO - Kuwait at the National Bank of Kuwait, Mr. Sulaiman Al-Marzouq and other members of the Executive Management.

Graduates who have ranked first this year were awarded for outstanding efforts in the duration of the program, attending lectures, practical training and on-site visits to branches.

During the four-month period of the program, the training phases of the Academy covered the various aspects of banking such as banking principles, risk management, teamwork, financial accounting, marketing, negotiation, consumer and commercial lending, in addition to practical trainings in rotating departments within the Bank during which they were mentored by internationally-accredited trainers to enable employees to gain specialized banking skills.

NBK Academy is designed to develop the theoretical and practical skills of trainees to prepare them to the banking sector and arm them with hands-on experience, as well as familiarize them with the Bank's business structure and culture to support their career development goals.