3 April 2021
Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait held its Ordinary and Extraordinary General Assembly meetings on Saturday 3rd April 2021, to discuss the Bank's financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020, and the items on the agenda for the Ordinary and Extraordinary General Assembly meetings. The Ordinary General Assembly meeting started at 10:00 a.m., followed by the Extraordinary meeting, where all items on the agenda were approved. The attendance quorum reached 93 percent.
Mr. Talal Mohamed Reza Behbehani, Chairman of ABK commenced the Annual General Meeting by welcoming the attendees. He presented the Director’s Report for the Financial Year Ended 2020, noting that as a result of the Board of Directors resolution to take prudent and proactive measures to mitigate potential credit losses resulting from some defaulting customers affected by the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, which continues to represent real risks to the continuity of normal corporate economic activities, the Bank has conservatively taken provisions amounting to KD 136.5 Million, resulting in a Net Loss of KD 69.7 Million for the financial year ended 2020. Total Operating Income was KD 141.5 Million, Credit Assets were KD 3.1 Billion and Customer Deposits were KD 3.5 Billion. As of year ended 2020, the Bank’s Shareholders Equity was KD 499 Million with a Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ratio of 1.57 percent, NPL coverage of 339 percent and Capital Adequacy Ratio of 17.26 percent.
Mr. Behbehani also referred to the strong investment-grade ratings of ABK Group from international rating agencies, as the Group maintained its rating at A+ by Fitch Ratings and A2 by Moody's. These ratings reflect ABK’s robust capital structure and strong fundamentals, including its resilient earnings capacity, stable funding and liquidity sources.
The Ordinary General Assembly approved the Directors’ Report covering the business and activities of the Bank for the financial year ended December 31, 2020.
The Ordinary General Assembly also approved the recommendation of the Board of Directors to distribute bonus shares at the rate of 5% (five percent) of the issued and paid-up capital, by issuing 80,958,311 new shares to be distributed as free bonus shares to the shareholders registered in the bank’s shareholders ’records as at the end of the due date specified to be on Thursday, 4/22/2021 (Five shares per one hundred shares), so that the resulting increase in the issued and paid-up capital amounting to KD8,095,831/170 (Eight million and ninety-five thousand, eight hundred and thirty-one Kuwaiti dinars and/170 Fils) from the retained earnings, and authorizing the Board of Directors to dispose of the fractional shares resulting from it, as it deems appropriate.
The General Assembly agreed to select two Independent Board Members to complete the remainder of the current term of the Board of Directors (2019-2021), namely Mr. Raed Abdulkareem Al Moamen and Mr. Zaid Khaldoun Hassan Al Naqib, and authorized the Board of Directors to determine the annual remuneration for them, taking into account the corporate governance rules issued by regulatory authorities in this regard.
It was a valuable opportunity to outline the strategy for 2021, following a challenging 2020. Mr. Talal Behbehani, Chairman of ABK highlighted that the Bank, under the new leadership of Mr. George Richani, recently appointed as Group CEO, will redefine its strategy while focusing on Growth and Transformation.
Mr. George Richani, ABK’s Group CEO, said: “Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait has maintained its commitment to providing new customer experiences, digital transformation and upgrading operational efficiency. The bank is implementing a comprehensive strategy of “transformation and growth” with a careful review of risks at Group level, to better analyze and understand the strengths and weaknesses in order to mitigate the threats while taking advantage of new market opportunities. The results that we will reach will allow us to formulate a road map for transformation in the coming years that will lead us to achieve our new ambitions and aspirations."
He added that the Board of Directors has approved the appointment of external consultants to present a comprehensive study of the Bank’s strategy during the coming period, which requires the utilization of the best-in-class expertise available in this field.
He also pointed out that the new strategy will focus on enabling more modern technology tools used by customers, and developing targeted products, with excellence in service and performance together with anchoring of best practices across the entire Group. The Group will also continue to invest heavily in recruiting talented manpower and maintaining its national cadres, developing human resource performance, and integrating overseas operations into the Group.
The Extraordinary General Assembly approved the item related to increasing the Bank’s Capital by KD 8,095,831/170 (KD Eight Million Ninety-Five Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-One and / 170 Fils), which represents 5% of the Capital, by issuing 80,958,311 new shares to be distributed to the Shareholders registered in the Bank’s records as bonus shares of 5% (five shares per one hundred shares).
The Extraordinary General Assembly also approved the amendment of Article (6) of the Memorandum of Association and Article (5) of the Articles of Association of Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, to make the Company's Capital KD170,012,454 / 500 KD (KD One Hundred Seventy Million and Twelve Thousand Four Hundred and Fifty-Four Kuwaiti Dinars and /500 fils) distributed into 1,700,124,545 shares. Each share is worth one hundred fils.
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