By Ulf Laessing
Kuwait bank sees annual profits halved to 37.8m dinars after Q4 loss calculated at 28.4m dinars.
Kuwait's Burgan Bank, the commercial banking arm of investment firm Kuwait Project Co (KIPCO), made a fourth-quarter loss of 28.4 million dinars ($97.22 million) after taking provisions.Full-year net profit fell to 37.8 million dinars after 74.8 million dinars in 2007, the lender said in a statement on Tuesday. Reuters calculated the fourth-quarter loss based on previous published data.
Burgan, which is mainly active in Kuwait, posted net profit of 14.24 million dinars in the fourth quarter in 2007, according to Reuters data. In the first nine months net profit was 66.2 million dinars.
Burgan said it, like other local lenders, had taken provisions, without giving details.
Operating income rose 15 percent to 121.1 million dinars in 2008 as customer deposits rose by 47 percent, the lender said.
The bank proposed a 10 percent bonus share issue for last year.
It said in January it would relaunch plans to increase capital by 200 million dinars after an initial plan had failed over a technicality.
The bank needs the capital increase to fund the purchase of the foreign assets of United Gulf Bank (UGB), another unit of KIPCO, Kuwait's biggest investment firm, for 194 million dinars.
The acquisition was part of a push by Burgan to move outside of its home market for the first time.
The purchase of UGB assets gives Burgan a stake in the Bank of Baghdad, Algeria Gulf Bank, Jordan Kuwait Bank and Tunis International Bank. (Reuters)