Boursa Kuwait’s MSCI upgrade will lead to more FDI inflows, improve liquidity: Alghanim
KUWAIT: Gulf Bank K.S.C.P. announced its financial results for the first half of 2019. The Bank recorded a net profit of KD 24 million for the first half of 2019. These first half results consisted of KD 12.2 million net profit recorded in the second quarter of 2019 plus KD 11.8 million recorded in the first quarter of 2019.
This net profit increase occurred as operating profit grew by 17 percent, from KD 26 million in the first quarter of 2019 to KD 30 million in the second quarter of 2019, more than offsetting higher Provisions / Impairments. In addition, over the three-month period ending 30 June 2019, gross loans and advances to customers grew by 8 percent on an annualized basis.
Commenting on the results, Omar Kutayba Alghanim, Gulf Bank’s Chairman said: “We are pleased with our Bank’s performance in the first half, particularly the second quarter momentum we saw in both business segments. In addition, we are extremely proud that our Consumer Business achieved its 12th straight quarter of loan growth and that has helped Gulf Bank reach an all-time high on gross customer loans and advances. These results highlight the Bank’s progress and our ability to deliver long-term sustainable results for our shareholders”.
Boursa Kuwait MSCI upgrade
On the recent news of upgrading Boursa Kuwait to an emerging market status by Morgan Stanley Capital International (“MSCI”), one of the most respectable global research firms and index providers, Alghanim commented: “We value the tremendous efforts of the Capital Markets Authority, Boursa Kuwait and the Kuwait Clearing Company for their vital role in enhancing the investment environment, accessibility and transparency of our domestic capital market. The reclassification of Boursa Kuwait to an emerging market under MSCI will lead to more inflows of foreign investment funds, diversify the shareholder base, and improve liquidity.” It is worth mentioning that Gulf Bank is one of the Kuwaiti companies on the initial watchlist of the May 2020 reclassified MSCI Kuwait Index. In addition, Gulf Bank has been part of the FTSE-Russel Kuwait secondary emerging market index since March 2019. “This is great news for Gulf Bank investors. Being part of these indices creates an investment opportunity with enhanced liquidity, fair valuation and diversification of the investor base,” said Alghanim.
“A” Credit Ratings
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.
Fitch: Long Term IDR “A+” rating with a “Stable” outlook
S&P Global Ratings: Issuer Credit Rating “A-” rating with a “Stable” Outlook
Moody’s Investor Services: Long Term Deposits “A3” rating with a “Positive” Outlook
Capital Intelligence: Long Term Foreign Currency “A+” rating with a “Stable” outlook.
Sustainability continues to play an integral role in the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) initiatives. Gulf Bank’s social responsibility programs include events focusing on youth and education; women empowerment; health and fitness; and Kuwait’s heritage. “We see increasing demand from investors, customers, regulators and our own employees around social responsibility and sustainability. We aim to invest in our communities and engage with our partners to promote social and economic development that will ultimately drive sustainable growth in our beloved country, Kuwait,” said Alghanim.
In an ongoing effort to support and empower the development of Kuwait’s youth and entrepreneurial spirit, Gulf Bank renewed their title sponsorship of the “Company Program Competition” for INJAZ Kuwait 2019. During the competition, Gulf Bank hosted students for a workshop session under the theme of public speaking and presented the “Best Student Company Award.” During the summer, Gulf Bank also launched its 2019 Summer Internship Program for university students. The program blends both practical and theoretical skills, encouraging students to explore a career path in Kuwait’s banking sector.
Gulf Bank also demonstrated its commitment to raising awareness for Kuwait’s heritage and traditions as part of its ongoing CSR program. During the second quarter of the year, Gulf Bank was a proud gold sponsor of “Memoirs of a Sailor,” an epic musical production which took place at the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre.
Alghanim concluded his remarks by stating: “I would like to thank everyone that contributed to these results. I would also like to thank our shareholders and the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Capital Market Authority for their continued support. I especially want to thank our customers for their loyalty and reiterate our commitment to place them at the center of everything we do.”