Total operating income grew by 6.6% to KD 84.5 million - Total assets grew by 4.9% to KD 3.9bn as of 30 Sept 2017

Dr Anwar Al-Mudhaf

KUWAIT: Ahli United Bank (AUB) reported a net profit KD 40 million for the nine months ending on 30 September 2017 in comparison to KD 39.1 million for the same period in 2016, after the financial statements have been approved by AUB's Board of Directors and the Central Bank of Kuwait. The continuous and steady business progression of AUB is further evidence of the growth of total operating income by 6.6 percent to KD 84.5 million from KD 79.3 million achieved in the same period last year. Accordingly, the equity attributable to the shareholders grew by 5 percent to reach KD 404 million up from KD 385 million recorded at the end of December 2016.

These encouraging results were attributed to focused delivery to the Bank's customers and maintaining a conservative approach for provisioning and sound credit policies to mitigate and manage the risks associated with the market volatility and geopolitical challenges experienced in the region.

Net operating profits grew by 4.6 percent to reach KD 57.2 million for the nine months ending on 30 September 2017 up from KD 54.7 million recorded in September 2016. AUB's total assets grew by 4.9 percent to reach KD 3.9 billion as of 30 September 2017, while the total deposits grew by 4.7 percent to reach KD 3.3 billion.

The Chairman, Dr Anwar Al-Mudhaf, said that "The continuity of our growth in AUB's profits for the nine months ending on 30 September 2017 is evidence of the confidence in the Bank's successful strategies and prudent operational vision to achieve maximum values for both shareholders and depositors. With our wide client-base, branch network, the unique services we offer and the expertise of our staff, AUB will continue its success in attaining a greater share of the domestic market through the promotion of Islamic Banking and world-class banking services".

The Bank has achieved a return on average shareholders' equity (ROAE) of 13.7 percent and a return on average assets (ROAA) of 1.4 percent as at the end of September 2017, being amongst the highest return indicators of the banks who have announced their results in the local market for the same period. The higher returns have contributed in generating earnings per share (EPS) of 22.8 fils. The Bank has reported a sound capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of 17.2 percent, comfortably higher than the regulatory required level of 13.5 percent and will provide room for further expansion.

The Chairman attributed these positive results for the period to the efforts of the bank's management and its staff members who have provided distinctive services and integrated solutions for the customers, maintaining customer confidence and enhancing the presence of the Bank in Corporate Banking, Retail Banking, Private Banking & Wealth Management and Treasury. The Chairman stressed that the management's success has placed the Bank among the best and safest Islamic Banks, not only locally but also regionally.

The chairman added that the Bank has continued to receive high credit ratings from international credit rating agencies, such as Fitch, Moody's and Capital Intelligence. The Bank maintained a credit rating of "A+" on the long term and "F1" on the short term with stable outlook by Fitch Ratings Agency, and "A2" on the local currency with stable outlook by Moody's. Capital Intelligence affirmed the Bank's long term credit rating of foreign currency to "A+" and enhanced the short term foreign currency rating to "A2". All these ratings confirm the credit standing, capital quality and stability of the Bank now and for future growth.

Building on success, AUB is proud to state that it has been presented "The Best Islamic Bank in Kuwait 2017" award by Global Business and Islamic Finance Magazine to recognize AUB's leading position as one of the safest Islamic banks offering innovative products, creative customer services, effective cost management and generating earnings and values to the shareholders. In addition and for the unique positioning of our Private Banking businesses which has placed the Bank on the top, AUB has been awarded "The Best Bank for Private Banking in Kuwait in 2017 Award" by "The Banker Magazine".

In addition, our debut issuance of the Additional Tier 1 Capital Sukuk issued last year won the award of "Sukuk Deal of the Year 2017" from The International Finance Magazine" in particular for the swift execution, efficient structure and competitive pricing. Furthermore and as an evidence of retaining the talent of top Kuwaiti banking leaders, the "International Finance Magazine" awarded the "Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in IT, Banking and Finance Award" to Jehad Al-Humaidhi, our Senior General Manager and Head of IT and Operations Division due to her remarkable contributions and achievements in the field.

Over and above and in line with our strategic objectives to navigate the businesses towards Digital Banking and E-Channels, the Bank has also been awarded "The Best Corporate Digital Bank" and "The Best Call Center" awards in Kuwait for the year 2017 from "The Global Finance" and "CPI Financial Banker Middle East" magazines respectively. The Bank is committed to the continuous improvement in banking services, including the innovation of its services, products and financial solutions.

In conclusion, Dr Al-Mudhaf extended his thanks and appreciation to the Central Bank of Kuwait, to the Bank's Board of Directors, the Bank's customers, shareholders, management and staff members for the their confidence and support conferred upon the Bank which has enabled AUB to realize continued achievements and to maintain its preeminent position in the Kuwaiti Banking Sector.