KUWAIT: Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) is pleased to announce a sustained strong performance during the first nine months of 2022. These positive results demonstrate the Bank's long-term strategy, which focuses on customer-centric products, developing strategic partnerships, and investing in human capital.

The Bank achieved a net profit of KD 27.5 million for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2022, representing 31 percent growth compared to 2021. Net operating profit for the same period reached KD 72.5 million, an increase of 17 percent compared to the corresponding period in 2021. Earnings per share (EPS) is now 12 fils compared to 8 fils in the same period last year.

Total assets stood at KD 6 billion, representing 7 percent growth over the previous fiscal year, customer deposits grew by 7 percent, reaching KD4.2 billion, and the Bank's loan portfolio increased by 14 percent to KD 3.8 billion. The non-performing loan (NPL) ratio stood at 1.76 percent, and NPL coverage was 315 percent. The Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) reached 15.98 percent while the shareholders' equity stood at KD 508 million.

Commenting on the results, Talal Behbehani, Chairman of Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait, said, "The financial results strongly reflect the Bank's stable position and is the outcome of the prudent strategic approach being enacted by our executive team."

Behbehani added, "The numbers are reflective of the healthy growth of our balance sheet and of our strong capital position. Customer experience remains a key focus of our strategy that is based on three pillars: create value and expand our core segments and markets; de-risk by building our next generation risk management capabilities; and innovate to achieve excellence in customer service and operational efficiency."

Behbehani also noted, "The Bank is steadily moving towards digitalizing all its banking services while forming reliable partnerships, leveraging growth opportunities locally, in Egypt and the UAE, as well as investing in its people." ABK continues to enjoy strong ratings by the leading international rating agencies, rated A2 (stable) by Moody's and A (stable) by Fitch. In further evidence of its position, Global Finance continues to list ABK among the '50 Safest Banks in Emerging Markets.'

George Richani, ABK Group Chief Executive Officer, said, "The results achieved in the third quarter of this year will help us further strengthen ABK's position in the local and regional markets. Figures also reflect the implementation of strategies that aim to increase asset values, manage potential risks, and increase the Bank's market share. This is reflected in our quarterly results and is noticeably seen in the growth of assets, operating revenues, as well as ABK Group's customer base, both individuals and corporations, while providing banking tools and products that suit their needs, leading to an increase in customer deposits and the loan portfolio by 7 and 14 percent respectively."

The Bank has been strongly focusing on streamlining its practices and enhancing its services to deliver even 'Simpler Banking' solutions to its valued customers. ABK was pleased to launch a new Visa Infinite Privilege credit card for its private banking customers and add new features to its salary transfer offering. The Bank also held its first Alfouz Account Mega Draw and announced the lucky winner of a KD 5,000 monthly salary for ten years. Furthermore, the Bank is celebrating 20 years of an exceptional strategic partnership with Emirates Skywards, the award-winning loyalty program of Emirates Skywards, and flydubai, and the co-branded ABK Emirates credit cards and prepaid cards.

In terms of human capital and supporting national employment, Richani confirmed that ABK continues to enhance its position as one of the employers of choice for Kuwaiti nationals by participating in numerous university career fairs in Kuwait. It also recently held a widely attended recruitment drive at the Public Authority for Manpower. In terms of training, ABK recently held sign language training to ensure staff members in strategically located branches can communicate with customers with special needs. Additionally, the Bank has completed the 35th edition of its Retail Banking Academy for new joiners and has created a new 'Mentorship Program' to further invest in its workforce and contribute to its employees' professional development.

Richani added, "The ABK Academy has recently concluded the first phase of its bespoke Executive Leadership Program designed to lead the Bank into the future. The program's first phase included multiple in-person workshops and digital learning modules for 50 leaders in the Bank. This leadership program has now cascaded to 70 Kuwaiti employees with high-potential leadership skills who are benefiting from this program as part of ABK's succession planning initiative."

On the sustainability and corporate social responsibility front, ABK continues to support and deliver educational initiatives in Kuwait. In partnership with the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Cultural Centre, the 'Do Re Mi' children's music education program was held. Working with the Kuwait University Medical Student Association (KUMSA), ABK helped to deliver several programs and events for medical students. In partnership with LOYAC, the Bank delivered school supplies to disadvantaged students.

ABK continues to support the Central Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Banking Association's joint awareness campaign, 'Let's Be Aware,' for the second consecutive year to raise financial literacy awareness and ensure safe banking practices. To fulfill the campaigns objectives, ABK partnered with renowned entities and different industry leaders.