National Bank of Kuwait, the country's biggest lender, expects flat 2011
profits partly on limited loan growth and is delaying expansion
plans due to regional unrest, its top official said on Thursday.
Chief Executive Ibrahim Dabdoub also said the bank was
well-capitalised and had no plans for a bond issue this year.
"Overall our bottomline will be more or less similar to the
$1.1bn last year, which is not bad," he said on
the sidelines of a banking conference.
The bank reported full year net profit of KD301.7m ($1.08bn), up from KD265.2m in 2009.
NBK launched a heavily oversubscribed rights issue last year
which was partly aimed at funding expansion plans in Kuwait and
But political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa,
including protests in Kuwait, has raised risk premiums and sent
many investors to the sidelines.
"Our expansion plans have been regional. At the moment, we
are putting all physical expansion plans on hold," he said. "We
may revisit when things subside next year."
Dabdoub said the lender was targeting loan growth of 10
percent to 15 percent this year.
"The loan portfolio of most banks in the region has been
flat. We haven't seen any economic activity to stimulate growth
significantly," he said.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.
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