Bank’s Viability Rating at ‘bb+’ affirmed
KUWAIT: Fitch Ratings has affirmed Gulf Bank’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating at ‘A+’ with a ‘Stable’ Outlook. Fitch has also affirmed the Bank’s Viability Rating at ‘bb+’. According to the recently published Fitch Ratings commentary, Gulf Bank has an adequate franchise in Kuwait, both in retail and corporate banking. The large branch network and good brand support the Bank’s distribution capabilities.
The Bank has a competent management team, which is highly experienced in local and regional banking, with a good record of strategy implementation in Kuwait, said Fitch. Fitch Ratings referred in their commentary to Gulf Bank’s fairly stable operating environment, adequate franchise, resilient asset quality, well-managed liquidity, good delivery on strategic objectives and adequate capitalization. Fitch stated that Gulf Bank continues to demonstrate stability in core earnings and profitability metrics, supported by an average 12 percent increase in net profit for the last five full financial reporting periods.
Commenting on Fitch’s credit rating announcement, Dalal Al-Dousari, Gulf Bank’s Head of Investor Relations said: “”We are very pleased to receive the affirmation of our Bank’s Long-term Issuer Default Rating at “A+” with a “Stable” outlook by Fitch Ratings. “This is an international acknowledgement of the Gulf Bank’s sustained improvement in asset quality and profitability, solid capital and sound liquidity position.” Added Al-Dousari. Gulf Bank continues to be well recognized in terms of its credit worthiness and financial strength internationally as it is rated “A” by all four leading credit rating agencies. In addition to Fitch Ratings recent affirmation, Gulf Bank has a Long-term Foreign Currency Rating of “A+” with a “Stable” Outlook by Capital Intelligence Ratings, an Issuer Credit Rating of “A-” with a “Stable” Outlook by S&P Global Ratings, and a Long Term Deposits rating of “A3” with a “Positive” Outlook by Moody’s Investor Services.
Gulf Bank is one of the leading conventional banks in Kuwait with total assets of KD 6 billion as of 30 June 2019. The Bank provides a broad offering of consumer banking, wholesale banking, treasury, and financial services through its large network of 58 branches and more than 200 ATMs in Kuwait. The Bank was founded in 1960 and is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (Boursa Kuwait) since 1984.