National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest Kuwaiti bank, reported net profits of $298 million (KD 83.9 million) in Q1, 2014 compared with $289 million (KD81.3 million) in Q1, 2013, up 3.2 percent year-on-year. As of end Q1, 2014, NBK Group’s total assets reached $72.8 billion (KD20.5 billion) up 13.1 percent compared to March 2013, whilst total shareholders’ equity increased by 4.5 percent year on year to $8.8 billion (KD 2.47 billion). Loans and advances reached $38.9 billion (KD10.95 billion) at end Q1, 2014 up 9.6 percent compared to same period last year, while customer deposits reached $39.5 billion (KD11.12 billion), up 12.9 percent compared to last year.
Asset quality ratios continued to improve with non-performing loans (NPL) to gross loans ratio dropping to 1.93 percent at end Q1, 2014 down from 2.72 percent a year earlier and NPL coverage ratio increased to 203 percent as at end Q1, 2014 up from 156.1 percent 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, 2014 profits are mostly driven by the growth in core banking business “We continued to focus on core banking business across our locations. In Q1, 2014 NBK’s net operating income grew by 7.6 percent year on year to $563 million (KD158.4 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.