National Bank of Kuwait reported net profits of $844m …

Doha: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest Kuwaiti bank, reported net profits of $844m (KD238.1m) for the year 2013 compared with $1,082m (KD305.1m) in 2012. Adjusting for the $289m (KD81.5m) exceptional gains recognized in 2012 on the consolidation of Boubyan Bank, net profits recorded a 6.5 percent year on year growth, a press release issued by the bank said yesterday.

As of end of 2013, NBK Group’s total assets reached $66bn (KD18.6bn) up 12.8 percent compared to year-end 2012, while total shareholders’ equity increased by 3.3 percent year on year to $8.4bn (KD2.37bn). Loans and advances reached $37.9bn (KD10.7bn) at year-end 2013 up 8.5 percent compared to year-end 2012 and customer deposits reached $37.1bn (KD10.5bn), up 10.2 percent compared to last year. Asset quality ratios continued to improve with Non-performing loans (NPL) to gross loans ratio dropping to 1.96 percent in year-end 2013 from 2.75 percent in 2012 and NPL coverage ratio increasing to 200 percent at year-end 2013 from 157 percent last year. NBK’s board of directors has recommended a cash dividend of 30 fils per share (30 percent of the par value) and 5 percent bonus shares.

Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer said “NBK’s profits for the year affirm the group’s strong financial position, market leadership and its conservative strategy, all contributing to the high credit ratings ahead of regional and international financial institutions.”

Despite the challenges in the corporate domestic market and the political instability in some of the regional markets, the bank managed to deliver a strong set of results. “We continued to focus on core banking business across our locations. In the year 2013, excluding the exceptional gain recognized last year, NBK’s net operating income grew by 10.2 percent year on year to $2,220m (KD626.3m),” Dabdoub added.

Dabdoub also confirmed that the domestic operating environment continued to improve and the overall outlook is turning more positive. The Peninsula

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