Profits affirms successful strategy of focusing on Core Banking Business

Hamad Abdulmohsen Al-Marzouq

KUWAIT: Chairman of Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Hamad Abdulmohsen Al-Marzouq said that "KFH has, by the grace of Allah, realized a KD 81.6 million net profit for the first half of 2017 for KFH shareholders compared to KD 70.9 million for the same period last year i.e. an increase of 15.2%. Net finance income for H1 this year reached KD 210.8 Million i.e. a growth of 2.7% compared to the same period last year. Total operating income for the first half of this year reached KD 343.2 million, i.e. a growth of 9.1% and net operating income reached KD 200.3 million, i.e. a growth of 22.1% compared to the same period last year.

Total operating expenses for the period decreased by KD 7.5 million, i.e. a decrease of 5% over the same period last year. Earnings per share for the first half of 2017 reached 14.37 fils, compared to 12.49 fils for the same period last year i.e. an increase of 15.1%. Total Assets reached KD 17.165 billion i.e. an increase of KD 666.1 million or 4% compared to end of year 2016.

Finance portfolio reached KD 8.914 billion i.e. an increase of KD 738.5 million or 9% compared to end of year 2016. Depositors' accounts reached KD 11.377 billion i.e. an increase of KD 714.9 million or 6.7% compared to end of year 2016. Shareholders' equity reached KD 1.795 billion at the end of the first half of 2017. In addition, KFH's capital adequacy ratio (CAR) reached 17.55%, higher than the required limit of 15%, thus reiterating the strength of KFH financial position.

Sustainable profitability

Al-Marzouq explained that the realized profits are attributed to the efficient execution of the bank's strategy by focusing on the core banking business while achieving stable and sustainable growth across the Group banks in various countries including Turkey, Bahrain, Malaysia, Germany, and others. The profits affirm that KFH is on the right track achieving sustainable profitability, strengthening its capital base, while maintaining its pioneering position as a global leading Islamic financial institution. The international operations are characterized by the geographic diversity that contributes to improving the asset quality and profitability.

Despite the challenging operating environment in the domestic and international markets, KFH proved resilience in its business model through optimal integration of its units and activities, efficient risk management, and the ability to soundly deal with the economic challenges and comply with the regulatory requirements. KFH constantly endeavors to improve its asset quality while continuing its prudent policy in setting aside provisions in light of the economic uncertainty. This leads to improving the Capital Adequacy Ratio while strengthening the bank's financial position.

Al-Marzouq said that Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) has affirmed KFH's A1 long-term deposit ratings, and changed the outlook on these ratings to stable from negative. He added, as per Moody's report, KFH is one of the largest banks in Kuwait with a market share exceeding 20% of the assets of the Kuwait banking sector, indicating KFH's ratings reflect the result of improvements in its financial performance, high levels of liquidity, and the strong capitalization that is improving in comparison to its peers locally and globally.

Al-Marzouq highlighted the importance of financing the country's mega projects, considering this as an economic, development and social goal. He emphasized KFH's commitment towards corporate finance as per the credit and legislative regulations, indicating the bank's unremitting efforts to offer credit facilities for SMEs where it has the largest share of SMEs segment.

He reiterated KFH-Group's significant role in strengthening Sukuk product as a prime financing instrument for governments and corporates across the global markets, especially in light of the increasing acceptability of this sharia-complaint product, that offers financing for corporates, development and infrastructure projects, and for urban development to achieve further growth and expansion. KFH is a pioneer in issuing sovereign Sukuk across the world. Recently, KFH Capital, a fully owned subsidiary of (KFH-Group) successfully participated in Hong Kong USD1bn Sovereign Sukuk as a co-manager and acting as a joint lead manager and a book runner for the USD 1 billion benchmark Sukuk issue for Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB).


Al-Marzouq continued: KFH won several awards in recognition of its excellence and leadership role on different levels. KFH won "Islamic Bank of the Year 2017- Kuwait", "Islamic Bank of the Year 2017- Middle East" and "Islamic Bank of the Year 2017- Global" awards from "The Banker" magazine. The bank won "Top Listed Institution in Kuwait 2017" award from "Forbes Middle East" magazine in recognition of instrumental role in boosting economic growth. Also, KFH won two prestigious awards from the Kuwait Public Relations Association. The awards are: Institutional Excellence in Public Relations award, and Excellence in Social Awareness award.

KFH plays a key role in significant economic events. The bank sponsored the Kuwait Financial Forum held under the patronage of H.H. the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. KFH organized the 9th forum for Listed Companies and Financial Analysts aiming at discussing the latest developments in the domestic markets along with the economic situation, its repercussions on the performance of companies in the future.

Also, KFH inked with the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs two agreements; collaboration and partnership agreement, and an agreement to support the activities of celebrating Kuwait as "Capital of Arab Youth". This solidifies the bank's role in supporting the youth and reflects the keenness to take part in the strategic initiatives that represent Kuwait and shed light on its culture.

Al-Marzouq stressed the importance of moving forward in focusing on the core banking business through improving the operational revenues while rolling out advanced banking products and services, indicating that the performance and results of KFH products and services exceeded projections. The bank reinforced its technological channels and implemented different customer-centric initiatives that revolved around customer satisfaction as per accuracy, security and quality standards.

Latest technologies

As part of its innovation efforts and the keenness to adopt the latest banking technology, KFH launched several e-services such as the XTM; the novel approach that allows customers to perform their transactions in a very modern and secure manner. KFH, in association with Visa, is the first bank in Kuwait to launch Visa Checkout (VCO), a service, which enables quick, safe and secure online payment. Moreover, the bank launched 4 innovative e-services in the fields of bank accounts and call center. The services are "Call Back Assist", "ANI" Service, "Favorite Menu" service and "Link Accounts" service. The bank introduced a multi-currency ATM machine at the airport branch with four foreign currencies; USD, Euro, SAR, and AED. Al-Marzouq said that as part of the bank's policy to expand its branches network, KFH inaugurated its 66th branch in Al-Nuzha. KFH is keen on delivering superior services to its customers.

He explained that KFH Group is successfully achieving its goals based on the markets in which it operates. Every Group bank in Turkey, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Germany is working in a way consistent with the nature of those markets, in line with the strategy of KFH. This adds more resilience to the modus operandi of the Group banks, yet qualifies them to tap opportunities and utilize any positive development. KFH has a global integrated operations leading the Islamic finance industry globally, and offering a suite of financial Islamic services and products. KFH's group banking network spans across seven regions worldwide, with over 480 branches, over 990 ATMs and approximately 15,400 employees.

Further, he noted that KFH solidified its role in the corporate social responsibility through participating in a plethora of social, humanitarian and awareness initiatives. KFH implemented different social initiatives that accentuate its pioneering role and commitment towards society. He expressed his thanks and appreciation to all shareholders and customers for their support and confidence. He extended his thanks to the regulatory authorities. He hailed the efforts of KFH's executive management and employees for their outstanding performance that yielded positive results that reflect the prestigious status of KFH; the world leading Islamic financial institution.