National Bank of Kuwait, the Gulf state's largest lender, posted flat first-quarter net profit on Monday, in line with analysts estimates, and the Kuwaiti lender said it was navigating a challenging market environment.
Net profit for the first-quarter stood at KWD81m (US$291m) in the quarter to end-March, compared with KWD80.7m in the same period a year ago.
Analysts had forecast an average net profit of KWD81.72m for the first quarter according to a Reuters poll.
"NBK's strong financial position underpins the bank's ability to generate solid performance despite the challenging operating environment," an NBK statement quoted CEO Ibrahim Dabdoub as saying.
Total assets rose 3.5 percent to US$51.8bn and net operating income reached US$481.4m for the quarter, NBK said.
The bank, which ranks among the top regional lenders in terms of assets and profits, said last week it had received the central bank's approval to increase its stake in Boubyan Bank to 60 percent from 47.29 percent.
NBK has been building its Islamic banking business and in April last year raised its stake in Islamic lender Boubyan Bank to 47 percent.
NBK shares have risen 4 percent year-to-date.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.