Kuwait expat bad debt figures 'incorrect', says Central Bank

The Central Bank of Kuwait said that the data is has published does not delate to bad debts owed to banks or financial companies by a specific category of customers
Kuwait expat bad debt figures 'incorrect', says Central Bank
A statement from the Central Bank of Kuwait said the banking authority “assures that all the figures contained in that report are altogether incorrect, whether at the level of numbers or debt classification.”
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Tue 07 Aug 2018 09:40 AM

Kuwait’s Central Bank has denied media reports that the total bad debts for expatriates in the country during the past four years reached $1.8 billion, saying that the figures are “altogether incorrect.”

The figures stem from a July 18 report in the Kuwait Times in which the newspaper – citing sources – reported that a large proportion of the debts belonged to foreigners who were laid off by the government, with 85 percent owed to local banks and 15 percent to financial facilities companies.

A statement from the Central Bank of Kuwait, however, said the banking authority “assures that all the figures contained in that report are altogether incorrect, whether at the level of numbers or debt classification.”

The statement added that the bank has not published any related data except what is published in its quarterly statistics, and pointed to a 1.4 percent improvement in non-performing loan rations as proof of the “financial soundness and strength of the Kuwaiti banking sector.”

“Furthermore, the data published by the Central Bank of Kuwait in this regard do not relate to the bad debts owed to banks or financial companies by a specific category of customers,” the statement added. "Therefore, the Central Bank of Kuwait underlines the importance of referring to its official reports and periodicals for the correct financial and economic information.”

The bank also urged Kuwait’s media outlets to “exercise caution”, noting that false and misleading information “may adversely affect the financial and economic conditions of the country.”

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