Fitch affirms NBK’s long-term ratings at AA-, outlook stable

nbkKUWAIT: Fitch Ratings, the international credit rating agency, affirmed National Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘AA-’, the highest in the Middle East and North Africa, with a Stable Outlook. Fitch said that NBK’s ratings underpins its unique status and systemic importance as the flagship bank in Kuwait and dominant franchise, which supports its revenue generation capacity and ability to finance better quality assets than peers.

Fitch Also noted that NBK’s ratings also factor in the bank’s strong management, consistent strategy and solid funding profile.

The agency also pointed out that the Kuwaiti banks benefit from a fairly stable operating environment. While the banks are not immune to the fall in oil prices, Fitch believes that the government’s capital spending plans will par tially offset the pressures. Several major projects have been awarded and financed in 2014 and 2015 which are providing growth opportunities for the sector.

NBK continues to enjoy collectively the highest from the three international rating agencies Moody’s, Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s. The Bank’s ratings are supported by its high capitalization, prudent lending policies, and its disciplined approach to risk management, in addition to its highly recognized and very stable management team.

NBK was also named among Global Finance’s list of the 50 safest banks in the world for the tenth consecutive time. NBK enjoys the widest banking presence with a local and international network reaching 4 continents. NBK’s international presence spans many of the world’s leading financial centers including New York, Europe, GCC, Middle East, Singapore as well as China (Shanghai).

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