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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

National Bank of Kuwait's earnings surge

Country's largest commercial lender reports an almost 11 per cent rise in second-quarter net profit 

Moody's has a stable outlook on Kuwaiti banks. Andrew Henderson /The National
Moody's has a stable outlook on Kuwaiti banks. Andrew Henderson /The National

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the state's largest commercial lender, reported an almost 11 per cent rise in second-quarter net profit from a year earlier, it said on Tuesday.

The bank said its net profit for the first half of the year jumped 9.3 per cent due to higher net interest income and net income from Islamic financing, which partly offset higher bad debt charges.

The bank made a net profit of 79.34 million Kuwaiti dinars (Dh262m) in the three months to June 30, compared with 71.68m dinars a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations.

EFG Hermes forecast NBK would make a quarterly net profit of 83.98m dinars and Arqaam Capital estimated its net profit at 83m.

Banks in Kuwait and the rest of the Gulf are facing stronger headwinds as low oil prices trim deposit growth and push up problem loans. Still, lenders in Kuwait have received a boost as the government pushes ahead with capital spending plans including multi-billion dollar schemes such as the Clean Fuels Project to upgrade and expand two of Kuwait's largest refineries and the building of the Al Zour refinery.