By Martin Morris
Profits come against backdrop of implementation of financial stability law.
Despite the ongoing global economic crisis, Kuwaiti banks, for the most part, have been able to make a profit in H1.Out of the nine local banks, five (three conventional, two Islamic,) have reported so far with four of them posting cumulative profits of KD229.1 million. The fifth, Kuwait International Bank (KIB), reported a loss of KD3.5 million.
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) made KD126.1 million in profit in H1, followed by Kuwait Finance House (KFH) with KD72.1 million, Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) with KD20.2 million and the Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East (BKME) with KD14.2 million, news agency Kuna reported Saturday.
Profit per share came in at 44 fils for NBK, 32 fils for KFH, 18 fils for ABK and 16.2 fils for BKME. KIB's losses amounted to 3.74 fils per share.
H1 2009 has also seen active stake building - NBK purchasing a 13.2 percent chunk of Sharia-compliant Boubyan Bank, worth KD84.7 million, bringing its total stake in Boubyan to 27.5 percent or 321 million shares.
NBK and KFH meanwhile have announced regional expansion plans in a bid to boost revenue and profits growth.
In addition, Q2 saw the implementation of the financial stability law, which is expected to have a positive impact on Kuwait's banking and investment sectors by protecting them - to some extent - from the global downturn.