By Andy Sambidge
Chairman says profit fall due to increase in precautionary reserve; remains confident
Kuwait's Gulf Bank on Monday reported a 30 percent slump in net profit in the first half of 2012.
The bank, which was rescued by Kuwait's central bank in 2008 after suffering big losses related to derivatives trading, made a net profit of KD12.8m against KD18.3m over the same period in 2011 due to the increase in precautionary reserve.
Gulf Bank said in a statement that it had further increased its precautionary reserve by KD34m to reach KD124m, part of its plan to create a "fortress balance sheet".
The bank said its total assets reached KD4.9bn, while deposits stood at KD4bn.
Mahmoud Al-Nouri, Gulf Bank's chairman, said: "The first half year results reflect the continued positive impact of our customer-centric strategy of providing the best and fastest banking services in Kuwait.
"So far, 2012 is turning out to be positive, with improved results, enhanced provisions and major award wins for Gulf Bank since the beginning of the year."
He added: "I would stress, with confidence, that Gulf Bank has restored its leading position in the local market in terms of product and service innovation. We will continue to exert efforts towards boosting such position.
"We will further continue our conservative plan to maintain a fortress balance sheet to help us expand, and enable us, at the same time, to protect the bank against any unforeseen market effects."