Commenting on the results, NBK Group Chairman, Nasser Al-Sayer, said: “During the first quarter of the year we continued to experience some of the challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic including movement restrictions and renewed closures. Despite these headwinds, NBK was able to grow its profits for the period demonstrating its resilient business model, solid financial fundamentals backed by its prudent income diversification and digital transformation strategies.”
Al-Sayer noted that the variant pace of vaccine rollout and recovery of major economies worldwide has compelled the Group to continue focusing on the conservative approach adopted since the beginning of the crisis.
Al-Sayer emphasized that the Bank is able to meet its customers’ needs and expectations by providing top-tier banking services and supporting them to overcome these exceptional circumstances through financing and advisory services; reflecting NBK’s remarkable capabilities, highly professional cadres and long-standing expertise, which always succeeded in earning and maintaining customers’ trust.
“We are fully committed to our historical and leading roles in supporting the national economy and delivering on our social responsibilities; becoming a key player in supporting community stability and stimulating business environment, and this role is best manifested during the times of crises,” added Al-Sayer.
Al-Sayer also explained that these exceptionally challenging times demonstrated NBK’s successful strategy in compliance with ESG standards considering them a key pillar for achieving sustainable growth in the future, thereby becoming a role model across the region in this regard.
Al-Sayer extended special gratitude to the bank’s employees for the dedication they showed in working during these exceptional circumstances, appreciating their strong sense of responsibility during these difficult times, which demonstrated that NBK’s human capital is the cornerstone of its success and key to achieving its future goals.
On his part, NBK Group Chief Executive Officer, Isam J. Al Sager, commented: “We are proud of reporting consistently healthy quarterly profits since the beginning of the pandemic, while maintaining a solid financial position, strong capitalization and stable asset quality metrics. This ensures a sustainable future growth and ability to meet the needs of our customers.”
In light of market conditions, we will continue to closely monitor costs, optimize operations and our balance sheet, and invest in areas where we believe the greatest short- and long-term impact can be achieved. We are focused on our digital transformation, a program that has been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic and that has proven vital to our response to the crisis. We will maintain our conservative approach to risk, allowing us to withstand external pressures until during the gradual normalization of economic activity, which we are cautiously optimistic will take place in the course of 2021.” added Al-Sager.
Al-Sager noted that in light of curfews imposed in Kuwait and challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bank’s digital capabilities have been a clear testimony to the remarkable technological capabilities and infrastructure built over years, which yielded top-notch digital banking services and payment solutions that were remarkably well-received by customers across all segments. We will continue to investing in our digital services, enabling the Group to maintain solid progress towards its strategic objectives.
Al-Sager pointed out that the income diversification strategy succeeded in preserving the Group’s leading position and dominant share in Kuwait, in addition to building strong competitive edges in the key regional markets in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, leveraging the integration and completeness of the Group’s offerings.
Al-Sager concluded by saying: “Our financial results boost our confidence in being well-positioned to be the biggest beneficiary of the gradual recovery, thanks to our comfortable liquidity, strong asset quality, and our digital excellence.”
Performance and operating highlights (Q1 2021):
- Total assets grew by 1.5% year-on-year, to KD 31.0 billion (USD 102.5 billion)
- Total loans and advances grew by 0.8% year-on-year to KD 17.9 billion (USD 59.0 billion)
- Total shareholders’ equity reached KD 3.3 billion (USD 10.8 billion), boosting by 6.6% year-on-year
- NPL/gross loans ratio at 1.68% and an NPL coverage ratio of 225%
- Robust Capital Adequacy Ratio of 18.4%, comfortably in excess of regulatory requirements
About National Bank of Kuwait (NBK):
NBK was founded in 1952 as the first home-grown bank and the first joint stock company in Kuwait and the Gulf Region. NBK reported net profits of USD 812.3 million (KD 246.3 million) for 2020. NBK's total assets were USD 98.0 billion (KD 29.7 billion) at the end of 2020, while shareholder equity stood at USD 10.5 billion (KD 3.2 billion).
NBK is the largest financial institution in Kuwait with effective market dominance in the commercial banking market and has been consistently awarded one of the highest credit ratings among all banks in the region from Moody's, Standard & Poor's, and Fitch Ratings. NBK also stands out in terms of its local and international network, which includes branches, associates and subsidiaries in China, Geneva, London, Paris, New York, and Singapore alongside its regional presence in Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, and the UAE.
Long-term credit ratings:
- Moody’s A1
- Fitch Ratings AA-
- Standard & Poor’s A
© Press Release 2021