National Bank of Kuwait sees flat 2011 profit

CEO Ibrahim Dabdoub says bank is well-capitalised and has no plans for a bond issue this year
National Bank of Kuwait sees flat 2011 profit
NBK CEO: NBK Chief Executive Ibrahim Dabdoub also said the bank was well-capitalised and had no plans for a bond issue this year
By Reuters
Thu 24 Mar 2011 12:24 PM

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

externally.

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.

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