Board recommends 20% cash dividend and 10% bonus shares

Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah

KUWAIT: Commercial Bank of Kuwait announced a growth of 15.0 percent in the net profit over the last year. The net profit of KD 63.8 million for the year is higher by KD 8.3 million compared to KD 55.4 million of 2017. The earnings per share are 35.4 fils, as compared to 30.8 fils for the last year. The Board of Directors recommended the distribution of a cash dividend of 20 fils per share and a bonus issue of 10 shares for each hundred shares, compared to 18 fils cash dividend and a bonus issue of 10 shares for the previous year.

Commenting on the financial results, Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Al-Sabah, the bank’s Chairman, said Commercial Bank successfully managed to clean the loan portfolio and achieved an exceptional target of “zero” non-performing loans. He reiterated that the bank’s emphasis on the qualitative factors over the quantitative growth will continue in the coming years. The total provision held with the Bank against its loan portfolio as at 31st December 2018 were KD 142.2 million, which is a reflection of our conservative approach to mitigate any risk against unexpected future events.

Sheikh Ahmad added that the balance-sheet reached KD 4,467.5 million with a growth of KD 72 million. A strong investment and quality loan portfolio helped to improve the assets’ yield. Cost of funds was maintained at a reasonably low level ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements. The bank’s capital adequacy ratio at the end of December 2018 was at 18.7 percent, the leverage ratio at 11.8 percent, net stable funding ratio at 115.7 percent, and liquidity coverage ratio at 156.0 percent, comfortably exceeding the regulatory requirement set by the Central Bank of Kuwait.
The bank continues to demonstrate its cost leadership with operational efficiency, a competitive advantage for the bank, which continues to maintain one of the lowest cost/income ratios among Kuwaiti banks at 29.7 percent for the year ended 31 December 2018.

He pointed out that the Bank has made a leap in digitalization of processes to enhance customer experience at various touch points and we will continue investing in technology and human capital to exceed customer expectations by providing effective and efficient virtual services and minimize the need to visit the branch in person. Many initiatives were taken during the year and new features were introduced to facilitate customers and ease their banking experience. Some of the new initiatives taken during the last quarter of 2018 are: introduction of online request for Letter of guarantee for individual and corporate customers, follow up on issued letter of guarantees can be viewed online, development of internal and external transfer services for online and mobile where customers have to include transfer purpose from a drop down list, new user registration from Mobile banking, merchants web page in which customers can apply directly for our merchants services, link to Al-Tijari brokerage service directly from our website and CBK Mobile and “Explore Me” feature that shows the current offers and branch locations.

Sheikh Ahmad further added that in continuous effort towards Kuwaitization, the recruitment has been focused on hiring Kuwaiti nationals and the Kuwaitization ratio now reached 73 percent.

He said, “a concentrated effort to recover the previously written off loans is yielding its results; KD 78.5 million was recovered during current year and more recoveries are expected in the near future. The bank will continue its balanced strategy and focus on available growth opportunities by financing new projects of national importance by efficient management of risks and associated returns,” he said.

Sheikh Ahmad took the opportunity to thank the Bank’s shareholders, valued customers, staff and regulatory authorities, emphasizing that the Bank’s Management continues to implement all the required policies to protect the interest of all its stakeholders.