National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest Kuwaiti bank and the highest-rated in the Middle East, reported net profits of $292m (KD81.0m) for the first quarter of 2012 compared with $291m (KD80.8m) for the same period in 2011. First quarter 2012 net profits came 5.5% ahead of the fourth quarter of 2011.
As of end of March 2012, NBK Group’s total assets reached $51.8bn (KD14.4bn) up 3.5% compared to March 2011, while total shareholders’ equity increased by 5.5% year-on-year to $8.1bn (KD2.3bn). Profitability indicators remained among the highest in the region with ROA of 2.33% and ROE of 15.0%. NBK’s net operating income continued to improve in the 1Q2012 reaching $481.4m (KD133.7m).
Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer, said “NBK’s strong financial position underpins the bank’s ability to generate solid performance despite the challenging operating environment”. “Our focus on core banking operations in and outside Kuwait remained a differentiator as our regional operations delivered resilient performance and contributed to the strong profitability achieved in the first quarter. This along with the strengthening of Boubyan Bank’s (47.3% owned by NBK) market position and profitability continued to support NBK’s efforts to better diversify its income sources.” Dabdoub added.
Dabdoub also highlighted that NBK’s fundamental strengths, along with its clear strategic vision, robust risk management practices and sustainable financial performance helped the bank maintain its strong position through different crises and continued to earn it international recognition.
In 2011, NBK maintained its top ranking among Middle Eastern banks and was named the “Best Bank in the Middle East” by Euromoney, The Banker and Global Finance magazines.
Additionally, NBK moved 14 positions to rank 33 in Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world.
NBK continues to enjoy the widest banking presence in Kuwait with 67 branches, which together with its growing international presence totals 176 branches worldwide. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world’s leading financial centers including London, Paris, Geneva, New York and Singapore, as well as China (Shanghai). Meanwhile, regional coverage extends to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey. NBK continues to enjoy collectively 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.