01 April 2016
KUWAIT CITY: The Chairman of Ahli United Bank -- Kuwait, Dr Anwar Ali Al-Mudhaf stressed in the general assembly convened on March 31 that the management of Ahli United Bank, with its successful strategy and conservative policy, together with its risk-prudent management and its commitment with the highest standards of banking practices, was able to continue its strong performance and maintain the stability and diversity of its income, along with development of its financial indicators and the lines of its businesses.
Notwithstanding the difficult circumstances witnessed in 2015, represented in the slump in oil prices, and the sharp fall in the Gulf stock markets indicators, in coincidence with the adverse developments resulting from the increased instability in the geopolitical conditions in the region.
Quorum in the general assembly reached 93.56 percent and it ratified distributions of cash dividends by 5 percent and bonus shares by 10 percent of the issued and paid up capital (i.e. 5 fils per share, and 10 shares for each 100 shares respectively).
Dr Al-Mudhaf indicated that Ahli United Bank -- Kuwait, was able to maintain strong financial indicators, whereas the net profit amounted to KD 42.8 million for the year 2015 against KD 47 million for the year 2014, following charging additional precautionary provisions for the year 2015 totaling KD 8.1 million, along with an exceptional provision for the impairment in value amounting to KD 7.9 million, and the other precautionary provisions, to hedge for the market volatilities following the sharp slump in oil prices in 2015.
Dr Al-Mudhaf expressed his satisfaction for the return on average shareholders' equity (ROAE) in Ahli United Bank -- Kuwait reached 12.7 percent, notwithstanding taking precautionary optional and exceptional provisions, thereby ranking on the top of the return on average shareholders' equity on the level of Banks operating in Kuwait. AUBK realized a return on average assets (ROAA) by 1.2 percent, which is among the highest rates in the market, along with realizing gains by 30.2 fils per share for the year 2015, and this reflects the Bank's financial position strength and its continued capability to realize returns from the Bank core business activities.
Dr Al-Mudhaf pointed out that the returns on investment accounts in Ahli United Bank -- Kuwait, surpassed the returns in the Banking market in 2015, stressing that these returns are among the highest returns given by Kuwaiti Banks. In accordance with the Bank business results in 2015, the return on annual investment accounts reached 2.11 percent per annum, while the return on semi-annual investment account reached 1.6 percent per annum, and the return on saving accounts reached 1.55 percent per annum.
Al-Mudhaf said also that assets rose to KD 3,904 million by the end of 2015, against KD 3,597 million at the end of 2014. This was attributable to the increase in the funding portfolio by KD 200 million, to reach KD 2,680 million, at the end of 2015. Customers confidence came in support of this growth, whereas the Bank total customer deposits at the end of 2015 rose by 8.4 percent to reach 2,661 million compared to KD 2,454 million at the end of 2014.
Dr Al-Mudhaf showed that in accordance with Basel III recommendations, the capital adequacy standard reached 15.51 percent (before the proposed distributions), thus exceeding the minimum requirement of 12.5 percent determined by the Central Bank of Kuwait, whereby these positive result reflect the Bank's adoption of a balanced approach and conservative risk management policies.
On the credit ratings, Dr Al-Mudhaf pointed out to AUBK's success in maintaining its high credit rating made by the International Credit Rating Agencies. Fitch Rating affirmed the Bank long-term credit adequacy at A+, and on the short term at F1, with stable future outlook. Moody's affirmed the Bank's local currency deposits at A2 with stable future outlook. Capital Intelligence affirmed the Bank's long term foreign currency credit rating at A+, and enhanced the foreign currency short term credit rating at A2. These ratings reflect the strength of the Bank's financial position, with its stability and capability to realize good performance in future.
Dr Al-Mudhaf concluded his statement in the general assembly saying, "On behalf of my colleagues members of the Board of Directors, the Executive Management of AUBK and myself, I extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to His Highness the Amir of the State Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and his Crown Prince, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may God protect them, praying Almighty Allah to help them for the welfare and prosperity of our beloved country Kuwait. I also extend my thanks and gratitude to the officials in the Central Bank of Kuwait, headed by the Governor, Dr Mohammad Yousef Al-Hashel, for their sound management of the monetary policy in the country and their objective directions and continued monitoring to ensure the stability and integrity of the Banking system.
Finally, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to all our shareholders for their loyalty and support they have accorded to the Bank. Our thanks are extended also to AUBK's valued customers for the confidence they place in the Bank which is a source of pride, and drives us to continue working to maintain the outstanding position that AUBK enjoys.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I also express our thanks and appreciation to our executive management for their efficiency in performing their duties, and to all Bank staff for their dedication and continued efforts they expend to realize these results and to enhance the position of the Bank.
The Chief Executive Officer, Richard Groves said, "In my first year in Ahli United Bank -- Kuwait, I am pleased that the Bank witnessed another year of strong underlying growth, notwithstanding the continued global and regional economic challenges and difficulties.
The Board of Directors approved a new, five year strategy for the Bank in March 2015. The agreed Vision for the Bank during 2015-2019 is "To become a leading innovative Islamic Bank operating with international standards while placing our customers always First". Our mission includes the provision of innovative Shari'ah-compliant financial solutions, competitive products and quality services for customers; to maintain the highest level of corporate governance and risk management with a solid capital base; to achieve maximum returns for shareholders on a sustainable basis; to develop our human resources and in a meritocratic management structure, thereby becoming an employer of choice; to adopt the latest technology to meet the needs of our customers; and to contribute to the social and economic advancement of local communities in line with our commitment to corporate social responsibility.
© Arab Times 2016