Warba Bank heads towards innovation breakthrough in Islamic banking sector

Net profits up by 442% reaching KD 4.752 m for first 9 months of 2017

Abdulwahab Abdullah Al-Houti and Shaheen Hamad Al-GhanemShaheen 

KUWAIT: By the grace of Allah, Warba Bank, the best investment and corporate bank in Kuwait , has announced that it has achieved remarkable financial results for the first nine months of 2017, reflected by its net profits which increased by 442 percent reaching KD 4.752 million compared to KD 877 K for the same period last year. The increase in the Bank’s total revenues was driven by strong performance of all business units. The total revenues reached KD 42.66 million at an increase of 63 percent compared to the first nine months of 2016. Moreover, the operating revenues increased by 70 percent amounting to KD 26.800 million by the end of September 2017 compared to KD 15.741 million for the same period of 2016.
The total assets of the bank increased to KD 1.670 billion due to its expansion strategy in the local and regional markets and investments in high quality and low-risk assets the financing portfolio witnessed remarkable growth reaching KD 1.223 billion at an increase of 62 percent over portfolio balance as on 30 September 2016. As a result of the high quality of the financing portfolio, the bank’s non-performing facilities reached 0.83 percent one of the lowest ratios prevailing in the domestic banking sector. The bank’s provisions coverage ratio for non-performing facilities reached 208 percent as on 30 September 2017.

Qualitative leap in financing, investment portfolio

During the third quarter 2017, The Bank successfully paid the return on the perpetual Sukuk issued earlier this year thanks to the increase of the bank’s net profit reaching KD 4.752 million for the nine months ending 30 September 2017.
Commenting on the bank’s results for the first nine months of 2017, Abdulwahab Abdullah Al-Houti , the Chairman of the Board, said; “Thanks to Allah’s Guidance, in the first nine months of 2017, Warba Bank achieved outstanding results and laid the foundation stone for the Bank’s drive to position itself as the champion of Islamic corporate and investment banking services in Kuwait, as well as providing advanced digital services to our retail customers. Since the beginning of the year, the Bank has been expanding its investment base in promising emerging regional and international markets, enhancing its investment portfolio thus forming strong base for investors’ confidence in the Bank’s performance.

Al-Houti affirmed that Warba Bank continues to inject needed investments to introduce new unparalleled services and products that bring about a new developed era in the Islamic banking sector, in line with customers’ expectations and needs. He pointed out that Warba Bank is expanding its investment and financing plans on local and international markets giving examples of the Bank’s achievements in the first nine months in this respect. He further elaborated that the Bank’s Investment Banking Group, is currently studying investment opportunities in Kuwait and abroad which, will enhance the Bank’ investment portfolio and provide lucrative returns to investors. Al-Houti also pointed out that all indicators demonstrate high-quality performance of the Bank at all levels and departments. He confirmed that Warba Bank will exert all efforts for providing tailor-made financing services to boost the national economy by supporting its institutions.

Warba Bank’s CEO, Shaheen Hamad Al-Ghanem, said that the Bank has realized leading achievements in the finance and investment sector in the first nine months of 2017 in Kuwait, regional and international markets. The Bank diligently deepens its position as an Islamic bank that offers regular and rewarding investment opportunities for investors. Al-Ghanem pointed out that the growth and improvement come in line with the Bank’s strategy to create unique investment opportunities and exclusive financing solutions for customers. The Strategy also aims at supporting corporate and investment sector. Al-Ghanim noted that during this period, Warba Bank has been focusing its efforts on innovate flexible financing solutions and providing its customers with excellent digital banking services that have significantly contributed in adding value to their banking transactions.

Rewarding financing plan
Al-Ghanem said that the first nine months of 2017 witnessed remarkable developments in the Bank’s financing operations. The Bank has successfully accomplished a number of deals most notably a strategic financing deal in the aviation sector in Kuwait, where the Bank successfully undertaken a syndicated Sharia- compliant financing transaction, of $300 million (KD 91.4 million) of which, Warba Bank’s share represented $80 million (KD 24.4 million). The deal is in favor of ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance Company to finance purchasing and leasing aircrafts over a period of three years. The Bank has acted as the deal Lead Arranger and Lead Manager.

Warba Bank also participated in Sharia -complaint co-financing for the Ziraat Participation Bank of Turkey amounting $236 million. As well, the Bank also participated in arranging the $400 million Sukuk issuance of the Dubai-based Miraas Holding Co for Real Estate Development, where the Bank’s share in the transaction reached $50 million.

During the first nine months, Warba Bank has focused its efforts in reinforcing its global real estate investment plans by completing a number of real estate acquisitions in the United States. The bank sees USA as a promising market for stable real estate investments since it is marked with high demand for premium residential units. The Bank has acquired ULTRIS facility located in Banyan Grove/Virginia, luxury beachfront apartments, in partnership with Bentall Kennedy, its real estate partner in USA. Earlier this year, Warba Bank initiated its collaboration with Bentall by acquiring the ManpowerGroup headquarters, an office building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition, Warba Bank has added another investment’s achievement to its global real estate investment portfolio by acquiring a residential facility, SUITE 2801, in partnership with Cortland Partners.

Digital banking services
Pointing to the rapid development Warba Bank is witnessing in its digital infrastructure, Al-Ghanem said that Warba Bank continues to employ the necessary investments, to develop its digital infrastructure to best offer unprecedented services in the Islamic banking industry in Kuwait. In this regard, he pointed out that the Bank launched a number of digital services during the first nine months this year that have been built upon flexibility and convenience criteria; these services have been designed to save customers’ time while fulfilling their banking demands easily, through the Bank’s website “Warba Online” and Warba Application on smart phones.

Al-Ghanem further elaborated that services available on Warba online, fall under the name of “Express”. Warba Bank has recently added to its portfolio of digital services, the “Express Bill”, which allows customer to pay their mobile bills on a pre-set monthly date and amount specified in advance; while the new “Express share”, allows customers to request to transfer money to their accounts from anyone with a mobile number and ATM card.

Financing solutions
As part of Warba Bank financing solutions, during the first nine months of the year, the Bank launched a series of auto financing solutions through sealing strategic partnerships with leading international car brand dealers in Kuwait. Recently, the Bank signed a quality deal with Mohammed Nasser Al-Sayer & Sons, the exclusive agent for Toyota cars in Kuwait, where the two parties signed the largest deal of its kind since the Bank incorporation. The deal is worth KD 9,702,250 million; whereby the Bank bought the stock of Toyota-Land Cruiser in Kuwait. Another milestone has been achieved by Warba Bank in this regard, through a fruitful cooperation with Mohammed Nasser Al-Sayer & Sons, the exclusive general dealer of Lexus vehicles in Kuwait. The Bank launched a new offer for both customers and non-customers, on the new 2017 Lexus cars in accordance with Islamic Sharia. The exclusive promotion offers customers the possibility of settling installments of all Lexus 2017 models for up to 4 years, at the same cash price; that is in addition to several other benefits.

As well, Warba Bank launched car financing campaigns under the slogan “Zero Profit & Flexible Installment Plan” in collaboration with a number of distinguished partners, notably Alghanem Motors, the exclusive agent of Honda vehicles in Kuwait, to finance the latest cars models from this Japanese brand, according to 0 percent profit and up to 5 years settlement period. The Bank sealed another deal with Ford Alghanem to finance the latest brands of Ford vehicles at flexible monthly installments for up to 5 years and 0 percent profit as well.

Promotional campaigns
Al-Ghanem said that Warba Bank has recently launched a distinguished marketing campaign for its customers of Al-Safwa Cardholders under the slogan “Use your Credit Card for a Chance to Win a Land Cruiser”. The campaign offers Al-Safwa customers a variety of features that allow them to enter the draw on a Toyota Land Cruiser. The Bank also continues its “Salary Transfer” campaign, which highly meet customers’ expectations. During last period, the Bank worked on upgrading Al-Sunbula account by raising the number of winners to 13 monthly winners of KD 30K value prizes.


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