Bank’s net profit accelerates to KD 13.2 million, an increase of 8% in Q3
KUWAIT: Gulf Bank K.S.C.P. announced its financial results for the first nine months of 2019. The Bank recorded a net profit of KD 37 million for the nine months ending 30 September 2019.
Over the three-month period ending 30 September 2019, the Bank’s net profit accelerated to KD 13.2 million, an increase of KD 1 million or 8 percent over the previous three-month period ending 30 June 2019, mainly driven by a 17 percent reduction in credit costs and a stable operating expense base. As of 30 September 2019 and compared to the year-ago level, gross loans and advances to customers grew by 6 percent, assets increased by 3.5 percent and shareholder’s equity grew by nearly 4 percent.
Commenting on the results, Omar Kutayba Alghanim, Gulf Bank’s Chairman said: “Although the first nine months of 2019 have been challenging, we reached another all-time high on gross customer loans and advances at the end of September and we’ve seen credit costs trending down. In addition, our Consumer Banking segment continues to deliver strong loan momentum and is on track to grow its loan book at nearly two times the industry growth rate for a second straight year in a row.”
“A” Credit Ratings
Gulf Bank continues to be well recognized globally in terms of its credit worthiness and financial strength by maintaining “A” ratings from all four leading credit rating agencies.
Fitch: Long Term Issuer Default Rate of “A+” rating with a “Stable” outlook
S&P Global Ratings: Issuer Credit Rating “A-” rating with a “Stable” outlook
Moody’s Investor Services: Long Term Deposits “A3” rating with a “Positive” outlook
Capital Intelligence: Long Term Foreign Currency “A+” rating with a “Stable” outlook
S&P Dow Jones Index
On the recent inflow of funds into the Kuwaiti market as a result of the inclusion in S&P Dow Jones Global Benchmark Indices with an Emerging Market classification, Alghanim commented : “We continue to witness the value of the Capital Markets Authority, Boursa Kuwait and the Kuwait Clearing Company efforts and vital role they collectively play in enhancing the investment environment of our domestic capital market. In addition to the three recent international indices inclusions, the new reforms introduced will attract professional investors, diversify the shareholder base, and enhance liquidity.” It is worth mentioning that Gulf Bank is one of the Kuwaiti constituents of the S&P Dow Jones index and it is also on the initial watchlist of the May 2020 reclassified MSCI Kuwait Index. Gulf Bank is also part of the FTSE-Russell secondary emerging market Kuwait index since March 2019.
New Product Launches
As part of Gulf Bank’s strategy of focusing on customer excellence and innovation, the Bank recently announced several upgrades to its online banking and mobile application, launching two innovative services and updating existing features. The Bank introduced Selfpay, an easy and convenient way to transfer payments from individuals and groups instantly, and E-loan, a new service that allows customers to apply for loans seamlessly through the application or website.
In addition, Gulf Bank has introduced “World Elite Mastercard”, a new metal credit card offered exclusively to its Private Banking customers. The card offers a range of premium benefits and concierge lifestyle management services offered by Luis Fourteen.
Sustainability continues to play an integral role at Gulf Bank. One of the Bank’s key social strategies is “inclusion”, which was demonstrated with a career fair hosted by Gulf Bank for people with disabilities in Kuwait. Today, the Bank proudly employs and leverages the skills of these talented individuals. As Alghanim emphasized at the recent Annual International Banking Conference organized by the Central Bank of Kuwait, “Stable, successful, growing economies are inclusive economies. Striving to include all those who are marginalized – including women, the financially disadvantaged and young people – is not just the right thing to do; it is vital for productivity and would add millions to our nation’s bottom line. The private sector has a big role to play in this, from lending schemes and job creation to training and education programs.”
Gulf Bank was recognized for its Straight-Through Processing (STP) by Deutsche Bank’s “Operational Excellence Award” in July 2019. The Bank has consistently achieved STP rates of over 99.7 percent year after year. This achievement demonstrates how Gulf Bank is reducing the administrative impact of payment processing and is working continually to increase efficiency and compliance with recognized standards.
Alghanim concluded his remarks by stating: “I would like to thank everyone who contributed to our financial results through September 2019. I would also like to thank our shareholders, the Central Bank of Kuwait, and the Capital Market Authority for their continued support. I especially want to thank our customers and employees for their loyalty and reiterate our commitment to place them at the center of everything we do.”