Kuwait banks see net profits rise 62% in 2010

Kuwait Central Bank governor says improved performance due to better risk management strategy

Net profits made by Kuwaiti banks in 2010 totalled about KD583m ($2.1bn), more than 62 percent higher than the previous year, the Gulf state's central bank said on Monday.

Addressing a financing conference, Sheikh Salem AbdulAziz Al-Sabah, governor of the CBK, said Kuwait had taken several measures to "buttress the banking sector", helping to develop risk-management abilities.

He added that local banks had managed to overcome the impacts of the global financial crisis and continued making gains.

Sheikh Salem said in comments published by state news agency KUNA that the improved performance in 2010 was linked to better risk management.

He noted that the financial stress tests conducted for the liquidity conditions of local banks showed that banks had "no problems in honouring short-term obligations".

The governor said the central bank would continue its "relentless efforts" toward consolidating monetary and financial stability in Kuwait.

Last month, the National Bank of Kuwait, the country's biggest lender, said it expected flat 2011 profits partly on limited loan growth.

Chief executive Ibrahim Dabdoub also said the bank was well-capitalised and had no plans for a bond issue this year.

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