National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the country's biggest lender by assets, reported a 38.3 per cent jump in its fourth-quarter profit on the back of an increase in operating revenue as economic conditions improved due to higher oil prices and a rapid vaccination campaign.
Net profit attributable to the owners of the parent company for the three months to the end of December surged to 107.4 million Kuwaiti dinars ($355.9m), the lender said in a statement to Boursa Kuwait, where its shares are traded.
Total operating revenue during the period rose 7.2 per cent a year to 225.2m dinars.
“NBK delivered strong financial results despite the continued challenges posed by the pandemic on the operating environment and the global economy,” NBK Group chairman Nasser Al-Sayer said.
“The bank demonstrated its unique ability to overcome the disruptive operating environment whilst persisting to invest in human resources and in our digital agenda to secure future growth.”
Net profit for the full year jumped 47.1 per cent to 362.2m dinars as operating income rose and provisions for credit losses and impairment losses fell.
”The operational environment in Kuwait is promising in 2022 and we are optimistic with regards to the opportunities embedded, in light of the high vaccination rates, which would eventually enhance business sentiment and contribute positively to economic growth, alongside the support to the state’s fiscal standing from the recovery in oil prices,” Mr Al Sayer said.
Oil prices rose more than 10 per cent this year on the back of higher demand as global economies continued to recover from the pandemic. Kuwait had administered 7.24 million vaccine doses to its population as of Wednesday, according to the Bloomberg vaccine tracker.
The restraining of production by Opec+ countries is also supporting oil prices.
NBK’s total assets grew 11.9 per cent a year to 33.3 billion dinars in 2021 while customer deposits rose 6.9 per cent to 18.3bn dinars. Total loans and advances increased 12.7 per cent to 19.7bn dinars.
The bank has proposed the distribution of a cash dividend of 30 fils per share to shareholders, in addition to a 5 per cent bonus share issue.