National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) reported net profits of USD 1,085 million (KD 305.1 million) for the year 2012 compared with USD 1, 075 million (KD 302.4 million) for 2011.
At year end, NBK Group's total assets reached USD 58.4 billion (KD 16.4 billion) up from USD 48.5 billion (KD 13.6 billion) in 2011, while total group shareholders' equity reached USD 8.2 billion (KD 2.3 billion), up six percent year on year.
Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK's Group Chief Executive Officer said "NBK managed to deliver a strong set of results for the year notwithstanding the ongoing challenges. 2012 was a turbulent year for the banking sector in Kuwait as the operating environment remained stagnant. Government spending was insufficient and the tendering of new projects remained behind schedule leading to slower economic activity and an underperforming stock market. Additionally, the geopolitical tensions led to further pressures on the business sentiment both locally and in the region." Dabdoub expressed a general improvement in the outlook for the local operating environment in 2013 as the government adopts a more dynamic fiscal policy, most importantly accelerating spending on mega projects. "The recent directions from the highest authority and the proposed measures to boost economic activity and spur growth are expected to lift the overall sentiment and create new opportunities in the local economy," Dabdoub added.
Dabdoub also highlighted 2012 was a remarkable year on the strategic level. During the year, NBK continued to deliver on its income diversification efforts through a major strategic move increasing its stake in Boubyan Bank to 58.4 percent transforming it into a subsidiary of NBK group. This move is key to strengthening our presence in Kuwait's Islamic banking market and opens new growth prospects for the Group. Additionally, NBK continued to strengthen its positioning in its regional and international markets with more focus on GCC operations. NBK's international banking profits recorded a year-on-year growth of 22.7 percent in 2012.
Dabdoub stressed on NBK's focus on core banking operations both in Kuwait and regionally. NBK's total operating income remained strong at USD 2,311 million (KD 650 million) for the year up from USD 1,921 million (KD 540 million) a year earlier. It is worth mentioning that NBK's total operating income in 2012 includes revaluation gains of USD 290 million (KD 81.5 million) resulting from the consolidation of Boubyan Bank.