NBK reports net profit of US $ 188 million for first half of 2002

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest financial institution in Kuwait, which recently reported a net profit of US $ 188 million (KD 56.6 million) for the first half of 2002, has been named “Best Bank in the Middle East for 2002” by Euromoney magazine.

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By  Massoud Derhally Published  July 18, 2002

NBK’s CEO, Ibrahim S. Dabdoub, attributed the bank’s solid performance to its strategy of diversifying income sources and its conservative risk culture. “Our results attest to the success of our strategy and to NBK’s fundamental strengths that have allowed us to enhance our performance despite an extremely challenging environment,” said Dabdoub.

“Globally and domestically, the banking industry continues to suffer from a low interest rate environment, economic slowdown and heightened instability in financial markets. Yet our solid financial position, excellent asset quality and earning power remain unaffected,” Dabdoub added.

NBK enjoys high financial strength ratings between Arab and emerging market banks. In addition to receiving positive ratings from international rating agencies, like Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s, in June 2002 FitchRatings upgraded the bank’s long-term foreign currency rating to A+.

According to the bank’s chief executive, NBK will remain focused on diversifying its activities, managing risks prudently and maintaining a customer-centric strategy.

The bank, which has 42 local branches and various international branches, currently has a market capitalization of about $ 5 billion. Euromoney, a leading magazine in the world of finance, awarded NBK the “Best Bank in the Middle East for 2002” in its July issue.

Euromoney cited NBK’s diversified earning base, financial strength and growing regional influence as the underlying factors for earning the award. On the investment Euromoney noted that on the investment-banking front, NBK id one of the few GCC banks capable of structuring and underwriting large regional capital markets transactions.

The bank’s diversified business lines also include a highly successful asset management business that manages more than $ 4 billion in assets.

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