NBK profit edges up 3.2pc to $298m in Q1
Kuwait, April 13, 2014
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest Kuwaiti bank, reported net profits of $298 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2014 compared with $289 million in the same period last year, marking a 3.2 per cent increase year-on-year.
As of end Q1, NBK Group’s total assets reached $72.8 billion up 13.1 per cent compared to March 2013, whilst total shareholders’ equity increased by 4.5 per cent year on year to $8.8 billion. Loans and advances reached $38.9 billion at end of Q1, up 9.6 per cent compared to same period last year, while customer deposits reached $39.5 billion, up 12.9 per cent compared to last year.
Asset quality ratios continued to improve with Non-performing loans (NPL) to gross loans ratio dropping to 1.93 per cent at end of Q1 down from 2.72 per cent a year earlier and NPL coverage ratio increased to 203 per cent as at end of Q1 up from 156.1 per cent last year.
Isam Al-Sager, NBK’s Group chief executive officer said: “NBK’s profits for the quarter are a further confirmation of NBK’s capacity to deliver growth, thanks to its strong financial position, exceptional asset quality levels and conservative approach to management.”
Al-Sager also highlighted that NBK’s Q1 profits are mostly driven by the growth in core banking business “We continued to focus on core banking business across our locations. NBK’s net operating income grew by 7.6 per cent year on year to $563 million,” Al-Sager added.
Al-Sager also pointed out the overall improvement in the operating environment in Kuwait and how this is reflecting on NBK’s growth outlook and business sentiment.
“We have recently been witnessing an improvement in the business environment in Kuwait. More of the larger infrastructure projects are being awarded and work is being done at a faster pace. This all will reflect on the business sentiment and improve the outlook for the private sector. We hope this trend will continue going forward with more government spending on projects and infrastructure development,” Al-Sager added.
Al-Sager confirmed NBK’s strategic direction focusing on income diversification.
“The implementation of our regional and international strategy remains on track. We continue to focus on the GCC markets to leverage NBK’s strong franchise there,” Al-Sager said.
“On that front, NBK has recently opened its new UAE head office in Dubai following the inauguration of business in Abu Dhabi branch in 2013. In Q1 NBK Group’s international banking profits grew by 15.5 per cent year on year confirming the strength of NBK’s international operations.
“Moreover, expansion into Islamic banking through the acquisition of 58.4 per cent of Boubyan Bank continues to pay off as Boubyan’s contribution to the group’s profitability and balance sheet increases over time,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service