10 February 2022
Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) announced strong financial results for the year ended 31st December 2021. Emerging through the challenging circumstances of the ongoing pandemic, the Bank reported an Operating Profit of KD 82.1 Million, up 12 percent compared to 2020. Net Profit reached KD 27.2 Million, while Earnings Per Share stood at 12 fils.
Over the same period, the Bank’s Total Assets increased by 16 percent to KD 5.6 Billion, Loans increased by 9 percent to KD 3.4 Billion and Customer Deposits increased by 12 percent to KD 3.9 Billion. The NPL ratio for 2021 was 1.55 percent with provision coverage of 357 percent compared to 1.57 percent and 339 percent respectively in 2020. The Capital Adequacy Ratio stood at 18.27 percent.
The ABK Board of Directors have recommended a distribution of 5 fils per share cash dividend and 5 percent bonus shares, subject to approval at the Annual General Meeting.
Mr. Talal Mohammed Reza Behbehani, Chairman of ABK, said: “In the midst of health and economic challenges, these are commendable results. We achieved an increase in our profits through efficient balance sheet management, portfolio diversification, as well as improvments to our recovery and collection processes. ABK’s International operations in Egypt and UAE also performed exceptionally well, contributing significantly to the Group’s Total Operating Income.
“We continue to drive excellence in performance with our conservative and prudent approach to banking. We operate with a culture of transparency and effectiveness to ensure long-term sustainability and value for our customers and shareholders. We are proud to have recently launched our first Sustainability Report aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), showcasing our practices and performance related to Environment, Social and Governance (ESG). As we move into 2022 the health and safety of our employees, shareholders and customers will remain at the forefront of all we do.”
Mr. George Richani, Group CEO of ABK, said: “In 2021, we were able to achieve a strong resurgence in our performance, and we strengthened our key strategic priorities – capital, cost, liquidity, assets and governance. We are aligned with the growing needs for digital transformation in the financial sector, and we will continue to enhance our digital strategy, to efficiently respond to the changing demands in this regard. I’m certain that the inherent strengths of ABK combined with our dedication towards enhancing our customer’s experience will reinforce the Bank’s position in the years ahead. As the Bank works towards the launch of the next five-year strategic plan, we will continue to build a robust, resilient and future-ready organization, creating value for all our stakeholders. We take this opportunity to thank our employees and clients for their ongoing loyalty and support and we look forward with confidence.”
In closing Mr. Behbehani added: “I would like to thank our customers who continue to trust us with their business. I would also like to extend my appreciation to our Shareholders and our Board of Directors for their continuous support, the officials of the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Capital Markets Authority, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, and Boursa Kuwait. I’m also grateful to the Governors of the Central Banks and the regulatory authorities in Egypt, UAE, and the Dubai International Financial Centre for their ongoing support. Moreover, I would like to thank our staff and management team for their dedication and hard work throughout the year.”
ABK has strong investment grade ratings of A (stable) from Fitch and A2 (stable) from Moody’s. These ratings capture ABK’s robust capital structure and strong fundamentals.
In October 2021, the Bank issued Subordinated Tier 2 Bonds equivalent to KD 50 Million, with a tenor of up to 11 years, comprising equal tranches of fixed and floating rate bonds callable after 6 years.
ABK also launched its first-ever draw account, Alfouz, which offers customers the opportunity to save and win KD 10,000 in Kuwait’s highest single weekly draw, and the ultimate grand annual prize of a KD 5,000 monthly salary for 10 years.
On the digitization front, new internal processes were implemented in line with the Bank’s ‘Simpler Banking’ strategy. ABK also launched a Chatbot Service, “Ask Sanad” and introduced a corporate internet banking portal for businesses – ABKnet, a secure platform to manage payments, receivables and liquidity.
ABK strives to deliver on its commitment to making a meaningful and measurable difference in the communities in which it operates through its corporate social responsibility initiatives, which were focused around health and education in 2021. To advocate responsible corporate citizenship, ABK facilitated and encouraged both its employees and the general public to adopt a healthier lifestyle through various activities and offers. The Bank also continued to promote financial literacy and awareness amongst the public as part of the Central Bank of Kuwait’s ‘Let’s Be Aware’ campaign.