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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 April 2019

NBK reports 15% rise in first-quarter net income as provision charges fall

Total assets of NBK climbed by 2.4% to reach 27.41 billion Kuwaiti dinars

The National Bank of Kuwait in Kuwait City -- the lender reported 15% rise in its first-quarter net income on Sunday. AFP
The National Bank of Kuwait in Kuwait City -- the lender reported 15% rise in its first-quarter net income on Sunday. AFP

National Bank of Kuwait, the biggest lender in the country by assets, reported a 15 per cent year-on-year rise in its first quarter net profit, beating analysts’ estimates, as provisions for bad loans fell and net interest income climbed.

Net profit for the three-month period ending March 31 rose 107.7 million Kuwaiti dinars (Dh1.3 billion), the lender said in a statement to Boursa Kuwait, where its shares are traded. The quarterly income beat the highest estimates of 103.5m dinars by analysts polled by Bloomberg.

The bank reported a first-quarter operating revenue of 225.6m dinars, a 5.7 per cent year-on-year jump, and operating profit of 154.4m dinars, a 3.7 per cent rise on the same period last year, according to the bourse filing.

“The increase in the net profit was primarily due to increased interest income, increased non-interest income and lower provisioning charges,” the bank said. “The increase in the net interest income reflected strong growth in business volumes.”

Total assets of NBK climbed by 2.4 per cent to reach 27.41 billion dinars, while its liabilities rose 1.9 per cent to 23.8bn dinars, the lender said.

NBK earlier this year recorded a 15 per cent year-on-year increase in its full-year 2018 net profit to a record 371m dinars on the back of a rise in spending on infrastructure in the Arabian Gulf, higher income from Islamic financing, a rise in fees and commissions and an improvement in consumer confidence.

The board of NBK approved the distribution of a 35 per cent cash dividend to shareholders, based on strong financial performance in 2018. It equated to 35 fils per share. The lender also approved the distribution of a 5 per cent bonus share, it said in March.

NBK’s “conservative” approach to risk mitigation last year resulted in strong long-term credit ratings and a healthy ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans, of 1.38 per cent, the bank said at the time.

Updated: April 14, 2019 12:12 PM

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