KUWAIT: Gulf Bank Chairman Jasem Mustafa Boodai addresses the Ordinary Annual General Meeting at the JW Marriott, Kuwait on Tuesday.

KUWAIT: Gulf Bank concluded its Ordinary Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) No 59, held at the JW Marriott, Al-Thuraya Ballroom- Kuwait, on Tuesday, 31 March 2020, with a 76.6 percent quorum. The bank was keen to take all necessary health and safety measures, implementing social distancing methods by ensuring a two-meter gap between all attendees. Gulf Bank also provided sterilizers, gloves and masks to attendees, and shared a live broadcast of the general assembly to shareholders who wished to attend the meeting virtually.

Gulf Bank’s Chairman Jasem Mustafa Boodai commenced the meeting by welcoming the shareholders and highlighting the bank’s major business and strategic accomplishments throughout 2019. Boodai then added: “We are extremely happy with our Bank’s performance in 2019. We delivered another good set of results as we continued to enhance the Bank’s position to achieve sustainable growth for all stakeholders.” Boodai continued: “This level of profitability enabled us to recommend distributing 11 fils cash dividend to our shareholders, a 50 percent payout ratio.”

Following his opening remarks, Boodai discussed the major key financial highlights of Gulf Bank’s performance during 2019. Boodai stated, “Gulf Bank reported an increase of 12 percent in net profit to KD 63.6 million. Earnings per share was up 12 percent to 22 fils and the Board of Directors is recommending a cash dividend of 11 fils per share (50 percent payout ratio).

Customer loans reached another all-time high of KD 4.5 billion, an increase of KD 261 million or 6.2 percent vs. the end of 2018. This growth in 2019 was well balanced as roughly half came from the Bank’s Corporate segment and the other half came from the Bank’s Consumer segment.” He continued: ” The non-performing loan ratio over the last two years has stabilized near industry norms and stood at 1.1 percent at the end of 2019. Our Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 17.1 percent was roughly 310 basis points above the regulatory minimum of 14 percent”.

In addition, Gulf Bank maintained its ‘A’ ratings from the four major credit rating agencies during 2019; Moody’s, Fitch Ratings, S&P Global Ratings and Capital Intelligence. Subsequently, Boodai went through the rest of the AGM agenda items, including the approval of Gulf Bank’s financial statement as on 31 December 2019 and a cash dividend distribution of 11 fils per share. The shareholders approved all the AGM agenda items.

Gulf Bank held its Extraordinary General Assembly Meeting No. 39 to approve increasing the number of Board of Directors from nine to eleven members as per regulatory requirements and amend the related Articles 28, 30 and 33 of the Bank’s Articles of Association accordingly. The shareholders approved all of the Extraordinary General Assembly agenda items. Boodai concluded the meeting by thanking the shareholders for their continuous support and trust in Gulf Bank.