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Kuwait’s Central Bank ‘poised’ to deal with future challenges

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Central Bank (CBK) is “poised” to withstand future challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, its Governor Dr Mohammad Al-Hashel said yesterday, citing the enhanced resilience the regulator has acquired. The consolidated budgets of local banks had jumped to KD 91 billion ($300 billion), the “highest annual growth in history,” the CBK chief said in a statement, hailing the data as a testament to the banking regulator’s “resilience” and ability to buoy national economic growth.

The increase in assets was driven by a revolving credit facility worth KD 56 billion ($184.8 billion) by the end of last year, according to official data, which showed that financial safety indicators “have never been more solid,” he underlined. Dishing out more statistics, he said the non-performing loan ratio for Kuwait’s banking sector was 1.4 percent by the end of 2021, “the lowest figure in history,” he highlighted, attributing the unprecedented results to the bank’s shrewd policies.

On the Kuwaiti banking sector’s total net profits, which reached KD 961 million ($3.1 billion) last year, the CBK chief said the figures were back to pre-pandemic levels as a result of “sufficient liquidity” and financial stability, he added.

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