NBK's profits up 12% in first half of 2001

National Bank of Kuwait reported a rise in profits; return of equity and assets for the first half of 2001.

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By  Massoud Derhally Published  July 11, 2001

National Bank of Kuwait, the emirate’s largest bank, achieved a 12% increase in profits for the first quarter of 2001 over the same period last year. The bank which has $13.3 billion in assets, realised $183 million in net profit, achieved an increase of 27.7% in return on equity (ROE) while the return on assets (ROA) increased by 2.75%.

“Our strong franchise helped us deliver solid results despite a challenging environment,” said Ibrahim S. Dabdoub, CEO of NBK. “We succeeded in expanding our service offering and maintaining a leading market share amidst increasingly competitive conditions, which helped us maintain our record of consistently rising profitability since the bank’s inception in 1952. The strength and diversity of our earnings reflect our focused strategy and discipline in managing the bank’s assets and liabilities and in diversifying risk. This has consistently been the factor behind our solid financial position and excellent asset quality.”

A customer-centric, multi-channel approach has helped the bank retain fickle customers and acquire new ones since it launched online banking services three years ago. Considered a pioneer in offering online financial services, telebanking and mobile services, NBK has become a successful case study for other entities that want to venture down the same road. The bank has incrementally increased its portfolio of operations over the past year and is looking to expand regionally.

“Our investments in banking technologies are critical for our continued growth and leading position in the region. This important competitive advantage will be a main driver behind the bank’s strategy to expand its franchise within the Middle East” said Dabdoub.

NBK recently became the highest rated bank in emerging markets globally when Moody's Investors Service, the global credit rating, research and risk analysis firm, adjusted the bank’s financial strength rating (FSR) from a ‘C+’ to a ‘B-’.

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