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Kuwait’s Banking Sector Overview Essay

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Updated: May 11th, 2022

History of Kuwait’s Banking Sector

Kuwait’s banking system is characterised by stability and a focus on sustainability. Considerable governmental supervision is one of the features of the sector, which has had quite a positive influence on its development (Jeha, 2017). At present, commercial and Islamic banks offer their services in the country, and a trend to the increase in the share of Islamic banks has been recognised (Iqbal & Molyneux, 2016). The political, social, and economic issues the country had to face during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries affected its banking system significantly.

The banking sector in the country was established in the middle of the twentieth century, which makes it one of the oldest in the region (Oxford Business Group, 2016). In 1941, British investors set up the Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East (BKME) based on a 30-year concession, and many other banking facilities were opened in the following decades. When the state earned its independence in 1961, substantial changes took place in the sector (El Mallakh, 2019).

The government founded the Kuwait Currency Board that focused on the development of the national currency and its management. Prior to the 1960s, Kuwait did not have its currency as people used Indian or Gulf rupees. In 1960, Kuwait’s government introduced Kuwaiti new currency, the dinar, which is still used in the country. In 1968, Law No. 32 was enacted, and it became the foundation of the present-day banking and financial segments of the economy (Oxford Business Group, 2016). In 1971, the year of the end of the concession, the entire banking sector was nationalised.

The capital market crisis of 1977 resulted in the introduction of rather strict regulations that made local banks move from Kuwait City to the Souk Al Manakh (a former camel market) (Oxford Business Group, 2016). Trading on that platform was growing during the 1970s-1980s. This growth finished in 1982 when the Souk Al Manakh crashed, having generated a 26-billion debt in U.S. dollars. Again, the government had to introduce stringent measures and help banks recover from the financial constraints they faced.

A new shock for the banking system of Kuwait came in 1990 with the start of the Gulf war. During the military conflict that lasted for six months, banks were closed, capital assets disappeared, as well as the vast majority of documents with vital data. The government had to intervene once again, and it ensured the compensation of all the lost funds to the locals (Molyneux & Iqbal, 2016). Governmental aid provided to recapitalise banks, along with high oil prices and the overall economic growth in the region, led to the rapid development of the sector.

Between 1996 and 2006, the assets of the sector more than double and reached almost ninety billion American dollars. One of the factors leading to this progress was the growth of the property market, but Kuwaiti financial institutions remained responsible during the pre-crisis period. Due to this responsibility, the banking system of Kuwait was affected by the crises insignificantly, which also meant its fast recovery.

It is necessary to note that the Kuwait banking sector is characterised by certain stability, although major crises had an impact on its development. The involvement of the government is one of the factors contributing to the sustainable development of the sector. At present, the country is witnessing another period of growth due to some internal and external factors such as economic stability in the global market and effective management of the financial and banking sector.

Banks in Kuwait Stock Exchange

The period between 2011 and 2014 was the time of governments succession, which had a negative effect on the country’s economy and the banking sector as well. The political stability that followed contributed to the developments in the public sphere, and numerous projects and programs were financed by local banks (Noonan, 2018). As mentioned above, conventional and Islamic banks operate in Kuwait (see Table 1).

At that, Islamic banks account for over 40% of the country’s banking assets, which is a high rate even compared to other Gulf countries (Jan & Marimuthu, 2015). It has been estimated that the Islamic banking sector is now growing rapidly, although conventional banks remain the backbone of Kuwait’s banking system (“KIB leads Kuwait’s financial transformation,” 2019). The biggest bank in Kuwait is the National Bank of Kuwait, which is a conventional bank, and it saw a net profit rise of over 13% in the first half of 2018 (Noonan, 2018). It is noteworthy that the second largest bank in the country, Kuwait Finance House, is an Islamic bank, and it reported a net profit increase of 16% during the same period.

Table 1. Banks in Kuwait Stock Exchange.

Islamic banks Conventional banks
Kuwait Finance House National Bank of Kuwait
Kuwait International Bank Gulf Bank
Boubyan Bank Burgan Bank
Warba Bank Commercial Bank of Kuwait
Ahli United Bank (Almutahed) Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait

The banking system of the country includes the Central Bank, specialised banks (such as the Industrial Development Bank), commercial banks, as well as nonbank financial establishments (El Mallakh, 2019). Some commercial banks are owned privately, while some are owned jointly by the private sector and the government of Kuwait. The Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait is the only commercial banking facility having foreign interest. National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House are leading banks in the country (see Table 2).

Table 2. Total Assets, Total Credit Facilities, Total Deposits in 2018 (Values in Millions, KWD).

Name Type Total assets Total deposits Total credit facilities Moody’s
S&P Rating
National Bank of Kuwait Convention. 27,427.940 22,930.448 15,503.402 Aa3
Gulf Bank Convention. 6,016.347 5,155.131 3,950.053 A3
Burgan Bank Convention. 7,312.080 5,632.851 4,262.740 A3 Stable BBB+ Stable
Commercial Bank of Kuwait Convention. 4,467.545 3,519.871 2,253.070 A3
No Data
Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait Convention. 4,548.428 3,615.638 3,025.992 A+
Kuwait Finance House Islamic 17,770.278 14,475.698 9,385.474 A1
Kuwait International Bank Islamic 2,168.595 1,328.798 1,698.271 Aa2
No Data
Boubyan Bank Islamic 4,344.778 3,818.151 3,262.285 A3
Warba Bank Islamic 2,194.472 1,888.241 1,607.945 Baa2
Ahli United Bank (Almutahed) Islamic 3,913.653 3,343.167 2,799.906 BAA3

As mentioned above, the Kuwait banking system is developing at a high pace, and the reports of some of the major banking facilities illustrate this growth. Boursa Kuwait is the institution that replaced the Kuwait Stock Exchange in 2014 (Boursa Kuwait, 2020). According to Boursa Kuwait (2020), the National Bank of Kuwait reported total assets reaching more than KWD 27,427 million.

Kuwait Finance House reported significantly lower total assets in 2018, but this index was still the highest among Islamic banks who have considerably lower total assets. It is also necessary to note that Boubyan Bank reported the highest total assets in 2018 that were compatible with the same indices of conventional banks. This gap in financial data can be explained by the comparatively young age of Islamic banking in Kuwait (Iqbal & Molyneux, 2016). Such indicators as total deposits and total credit facilities are also suggestive in terms of the trend considered above.

The economy of Kuwait is developing, and the government pays specific attention to supporting small and middle-size businesses. This governmental approach led to certain credit growth in 2018 as banks provide millions of dinars in loans (Noonan, 2018). National Bank of Kuwait and Kuwait Finance House reported the highest total credit facilities in the period in question, KWD 15,503.402 million and KWD 9,385.474, respectively (Boursa Kuwait, 2020).

It is noteworthy that some Islamic banks had total credit assets that were similar or even higher than their total deposit. For instance, Kuwait International Bank’s total deposit was KWD 1,328.798 million, while this bank’s total credit facilities reached KWD 1,698.271 million in 2018. Commercial Bank of Kuwait reported the lowest total credit facilities while its total credits and total assets were similar to the corresponding indices of Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait.

The amount of total deposit in the banks of Kuwait suggest a substantial level of trust in the banking system of the country as well as the overall state of the economy. Again, the National Bank of Kuwait is the leader with KWD 22,930.448 million of reported total deposits (Boursa Kuwait, 2020). Kuwait International Bank and Warba Bank had the lowest total deposits in 2018. However, it is necessary to add that Warba Bank reported KWD 1,888.241 million of total deposit while its total assets were not high (KWD 2,194.472 million) (Boursa Kuwait, 2020). Such conventional banks as Gulf Bank and Burgan Bank, as well as Commercial Bank of Kuwait and Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, had similar financial results in 2018 regarding total assets, total deposits, and total credit facilities.

Total Assets, Credit Facilities, Deposits for All Banks (Cumulative)

The Kuwaiti banking system is developing in a sustainable manner due to several reasons, including its duality and the government’s involvement, as well as some external factors. Due to the considerable decline of oil prices, total oil and gas exports of Kuwait decreased from over $97 billion to only $41.5 billion and reached $65.7 billion in 2018 (International Monetary Fund, 2019). It has been found that oil price fluctuations have had a substantial effect on the development of Kuwait’s banking sector (Alodayni, 2016). At the same time, Khandelwal, Miyajima, and Santos (2017) found empirical evidence that some Gulf countries are more affected by these changes. Economies of the countries of the Middle East depend on oil to a considerable extent.

It is stated that some states, including Kuwait, created a model to mitigate the adverse effects of decreases in oil prices. These strategies often imply the accumulation of resources during positive fluctuations and governmental support during periods of low oil prices (Khandelwal et al., 2017). The effectiveness of this approach can be illustrated by the continuous growth of Kuwaiti banks that managed to increase their assets between 2014 and 2018 when the price of oil was low (see Table 3).

Table 3. Total Assets, Credit Facilities, Deposits for All Banks (Cumulative) (Values in Millions, KWD).

Year Total assets for all banks Total credit facilities for all banks Total deposits for all banks
2013 60,496.243 34,865.680 50,519.910
2014 68,262.388 38,668.360 57,452.121
2015 70,354.492 41,482.081 59,196.742
2016 72,031.200 42,165.024 59,784.246
2017 76,574.070 45,460.992 62,936.620
2018 80,164.116 47,749.138 65,707.994

It is also noteworthy that total credit facilities and deposits for the banks listed above were steadily increasing during the period between 2013 and 2018. According to Boursa Kuwait (2020), these banks’ total assets, total credit facilities, and total deposits increased by slightly over 30% from 2013 to 2018. Louati and Boujelbene (2015) also add that sustainable growth was a possibility due to the duality of the banking system of Kuwait, where conventional and Islamic banks operate. Moreover, the existing competition among Islamic banks had a positive influence on the overall development of the Kuwaiti banking sector.

National Bank of Kuwait

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) was established in 1952 by Kuwaiti merchants and listed on the Kuwait Stock exchange (KSE) in 1984 (National Bank of Kuwait, 2018). This conventional bank’s market capitalisation reached $16.8 billion (as reported on 31 December 2018). NBK operates in 15 countries and offers services in such segments as consumer banking, private and corporate banking, Islamic banking, asset management and investment banking. The bank is one of the leaders in Kuwait that can be characterised by sustainable growth during the past years (see Table 4 and Table 5).

Table 4. NBK’s Core Financial and Stock Highlights (“National Bank of Kuwait,” 2020).

Highlights (2018-2014) Values in millions, KWD
Total assets 27,427.940
Total deposits 22,930.448
Total credit facilities 15,503.402
Closing stock price 1,088.000
ROA (5-year average) 1.36%
ROE (5-year average) 9.95%
Net profit margin (5-year average) 40.63%
Dividend per share 0.027

National Bank of Kuwait sees its international operations and Islamic Banking services as risk mitigation for the entire group (National Bank of Kuwait, 2018). Diversification has been one of the top priorities of the bank for several decades. Aladwan (2015) notes that the size and assets of a banking facility correlate negatively with its effectiveness in Kuwait. Nevertheless, NBK has remained the largest and one of the most efficient banks in the country.

Table 5. NBK’s Financial Highlights, 2018-2013, Values in Millions, KWD (“National Bank of Kuwait,” 2020).

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Total assets 27,428 26,035 24,239 23,598 21,784 18,600
Total deposits 22,931 21,740 20,372 20,021 18,641 15,664
Total credit facilities 15,503 14,503 13,612 13,551 11,909 10,695
Total liabilities 24,054 22,795 21,144 20,631 19,131 16,091
Total equity 3,374 3,240 3,095 2,967 2,653 2,509
Net income 370.709 322.362 295.178 282.160 261.810 238.137
Dividends per share 0.033 0.027 0.026 0.024 0.023 0.022

Gulf Bank

Gulf Bank is one of the largest and oldest conventional banking facilities in Kuwait. It was set up in 1960, and the bank was listed in KSE in 1984 (Gulf Bank, 2018). The bank’s management emphasises the company’s contribution to the development of communities, as well as the entire country. It is also noted that the bank received high scores from major credit rating agencies.

Table 6. Gulf Bank’s Core Financial and Stock Highlights (“Gulf Bank,” 2020).

Highlights (2018-2014) Values in millions, KWD
Total assets 6,016.347
Total deposits 5,155.131
Total credit facilities 3,950.053
Closing stock price 314.000
ROA (5-year average) 0.81%
ROE (5-year average) 7.99%
Net profit margin (5-year average) 24.36%
Dividend per share 0.006

Hamdan, Buallay, and Alareeni (2017) claim that one of the reasons for the high performance of Gulf Bank is its effective corporate governance. The researchers note that Gulf Bank is one of the largest banks in Kuwait due to sound and effective strategic governance with a focus on sustainability. Proper management ensured steady growth and evolvement of the company that translated into increasing profits and improving performance (see Table 6 and Table 7).

Table 7. Gulf Bank’s Financial Highlights, 2018-2013, Values in Millions, KWD (“Gulf Bank,” 2020).

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Total assets 6,016.347 5,683.404 5,467.115 5,437.716 5,330.878 5,064.759
Total deposits 5,155.131 4,871.279 4,700.384 4,824.838 4,695.070 4,393.894
Total credit facilities 3,950.053 3,808.766 3,445.997 3,633.591 3,583.103 3,361.234
Total liabilities 5,387.654 5,082.126 4,893.623 4,899.460 4,819.517 4,581.625
Total equity 628.693 601.278 573.492 538.256 511.361 483.134
Net income 56.741 48.023 42.943 39.002 35.460 32.160
Dividends per share 0.010 0.009 0.007 0.004 0.000 0.000

Burgan Bank

Burgan Bank is one of the youngest conventional banks in Kuwait as it was founded in 1977. The company offers services in such sectors as financial institutions and corporate sector, private banking and retail banking (Burgan Bank, 2018). The bank has subsidiaries in Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkey, and the UAE. Burgan bank also has quite a high rating from major rating agencies, including BBB+ from Standard & Poor’s and A3 from Moody’s (Burgan Bank, 2018). As for the performance of the bank during the past five years, the bank did not show stability or substantial, sustainable growth (see Table 8 and Table 9).

Table 8. Burgan Bank’s Core Financial and Stock Highlights (“Burgan Bank,” 2020).

Highlights (2018-2014) Values in millions, KWD
Total assets 7,312.080
Total deposits 5,632.851
Total credit facilities 4,262.740
Closing stock price 307.000
ROA (5-year average) 0.93%
ROE (5-year average) 6.95%
Net profit margin (5-year average) 27.31%
Dividend per share 0.011

Aloumi and Al-Jassar (2017) state that the bank was not significantly affected by the financial crisis of 2008 due to its focus on corporate governance. Nevertheless, Burgan Bank could not retain this positive trend in the past five years and experienced certain fluctuations in assets, total liability, and other indicators (see Table 9). It is also noted that the bank is rather overrated by some rating agencies, which has a negative influence on its performance.

Table 9. Burgan Bank’s Financial Highlights, 2018-2013, Values in Millions, KWD (“Burgan Bank,” 2020).

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Total assets 7,312.080 7,415.212 7,268.876 6,824.705 7,751.424 7,154.751
Total deposits 5,632.851 6,013.296 5,770.354 5,577.287 6,334.759 6,089.137
Total credit facilities 4,262.740 4,407.568 4,224.086 4,087.635 4,484.486 4,060.046
Total liabilities 6,415.719 6,598.775 6,474.744 6,044.005 6,946.558 6,679.293
Total equity 896.361 816.437 794.132 780.700 804.866 475.458
Net income 82.579 65.223 68.178 76.131 61.758 20.102
Dividends per share 0.011 0.006 0.004 0.016 0.012 0.005

Commercial Bank of Kuwait

Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK) was founded in 1960 and now operates in diverse banking segments from megaproject financing to retail banking (Commercial Bank of Kuwait, 2019). This conventional bank has been involved in various major construction and infrastructure projects in the country and has shown good results in 2018 (see Table 10). The focus on innovation and corporate citizenship is a characteristic feature of this company.

Table 10. Commercial Bank of Kuwait: Core Financial and Stock Highlights (“Commercial Bank of Kuwait,” 2020).

Highlights (2018-2014) Values in millions, KWD
Total assets 4,467.545
Total deposits 3,519.871
Total credit facilities 2,253.070
Closing stock price 548.000
ROA (5-year average) 1.26%
ROE (5-year average) 8.74%
Net profit margin (5-year average) 36.65%
Dividend per share (5-year average) 0.013

AlRumaihi and Madzikanda (2016) claim that corporate social responsibility is gaining momentum in Kuwait and banks paying sufficient attention to this aspect are able to improve their resilience in the time of financial constraints. Effective corporate governance, as well as its focus on corporate citizenship and innovation, enabled CBK to witness steady growth during the past years (see Table 11). At the same time, such indicators as dividends per share more than tripled in 2018 compared to 2013.

Table 11. Commercial Bank of Kuwait: Financial Highlights, 2018-2013, Values in Millions, KWD (“Commercial Bank of Kuwait,” 2020).

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Total assets 4,467.545 4,394.586 4,125.289 4,037.351 4,212.763 3,929.472
Total deposits 3,519.871 3,534.371 3,390.489 3,340.299 3,558.322 3,316.058
Total credit facilities 2,253.070 2,236.527 2,250.468 2,297.466 2,319.664 2,078.164
Total liabilities 3,738.521 3,740.394 3,522.210 3,461.651 3,660.055 3,367.648
Total equity 729.024 654.192 603.079 575.700 552.708 561.824
Net income 63.751 55.432 50.401 46.185 49.122 23.534
Dividends per share 0.018 0.015 0.011 0.009 0.013 0.004

Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait

Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) was established in 1967, and it is now operating in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt (Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, 2018). The bank is involved in such segments as retail banking, corporate financing (real estate, construction), financial services, interest rate services and foreign exchange services. ABK has a high rating from major rating agencies and was named one of the safest banks in 2018-2019.

Table 12. Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait: Core Financial and Stock Highlights (“Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait,” 2020).

Highlights (2018-2014) Values in millions, KWD
Total assets 4,548.428
Total deposits 3,615.638
Total credit facilities 3,025.992
Closing stock price 259.000
ROA (5-year average) 0.88%
ROE (5-year average) 6.25%
Net profit margin (5-year average) 23.86%
Dividend per share (5-year average) 0.012

Although Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait is not one of the largest banking institutions in the country, its corporate governance ensured its excellent performance (see Table 12). Irrespective of low oil prices, ABK managed to increase its major indicators and safeguard its share in the market. AlAli (2019) notes that Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait was the second top bank in Kuwait in terms of its ROE.

Table 13. Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait: Financial Highlights, 2018-2013, Values in Millions, KWD (“Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait,” 2020).

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Total assets 4,548.428 4,361.726 4,284.813 4,359.064 3,499.039 3,193.141
Total deposits 3,615.638 3,535.793 3,634.679 3,695.470 2,862.049 2,586.486
Total credit facilities 3,025.992 3,075.065 3,029.384 3,047.143 2,422.297 2,189.412
Total liabilities 3,872.875 3,789.716 3,729.656 3,803.464 2,940.691 2,652.309
Total equity 675.553 572.010 555.157 555.600 558.348 540.832
Net income 42.115 35.661 32.472 30.360 37.586 35.425
Dividends per share 0.014 0.012 0.011 0.010 0.013 0.013

Kuwait Finance House

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) is the largest Islamic bank and is one of the largest banks in Kuwait. KFH was founded in 1977, and it was the first Islamic bank in the country (Kuwait Finance House, 2018). The bank has subsidiaries in Saudi Arabia, Germany, Turkey, Malaysia, Bahrain, and Kuwait and employs approximately fifteen thousand people. KFH offers a wide range of banking services compliant with Sharia laws.

Table 14. Kuwait Finance House’s Core Financial and Stock Highlights (“Kuwait Finance House,” 2020).

Highlights (2018-2014) Values in millions, KWD
Total assets 17,770.278
Total deposits 14,475.698
Total credit facilities 9,385.474
Closing stock price 816.000
ROA (5-year average) 1.20%
ROE (5-year average) 9.63%
Net profit margin (5-year average) 28.11%
Dividend per share (5-year average) 0.013

The bank showed excellent results in 2018 in terms of its key financial indicators (see Table 14). The progress of Kuwait Finance House is apparent as its key financial indicators were increasing between 2013 and 2018 (see Table 15). The most remarkable change is the growth of the bank’s dividends per share that more than doubled during the period mentioned above (“Kuwait Finance House,” 2020).

Table 15. Kuwait Finance House’s Financial Highlights, 2018-2013, Values in Millions, KWD (“Kuwait Finance House,” 2020).

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Total assets 17,770 17,358 16,499 16,495 17,182 15,288
Total deposits 14,476 13,845 13,541 13,763 14,349 12,588
Total credit facilities 9,386 9,217 8,176 8,096 8,119 7,595
Total liabilities 15,876 15,486 14,689 14,716 15,436 13,625
Total equity 1,894 1,872 1,811 1,779 1,746 1,663
Net income 227.411 184.155 165.228 145.841 126.476 115.893
Dividends per share 0.018 0.014 0.013 0.012 0.009 0.007

Kuwait International Bank

Kuwait International Bank (KIB) was incorporated in 1973 and started operating in accordance with Sharia laws in 2007 (Kuwait International Bank, 2018). The bank offers Islamic banking services in such segments as leasing, property sales and purchase, as well as other trading activities compliant with Sharia norms. The bank’s management states that KIB’s progress in 2018 is linked to the overall economic situation in Kuwait that was favourable (Kuwait International Bank, 2018).

Table 16. Kuwait International Bank’s Core Financial and Stock Highlights (“Kuwait International Bank,” 2020).

Highlights (2018-2014) Values in millions, KWD
Total assets 2,168.595
Total deposits 1,328.798
Total credit facilities 1,698.271
Closing stock price 278.000
ROA (5-year average) 0.96%
ROE (5-year average) 6.95%
Net profit margin (5-year average) 25.99%
Dividend per share (5-year average) 0.009

It has been acknowledged that the growth of Islamic banking in Kuwait is associated with this country’s political and economic stability in recent years (“KIB leads Kuwait’s financial transformation,” 2019). The launch of numerous construction and infrastructure projects led to the development of Islamic banks. KIB is one of the most rapidly developing banks in the country, which is due to the overall situation in the country and the bank’s thoughtful corporate governance (see Table 16 and Table 17).

Table 17. Kuwait International Bank’s Financial Highlights, 2018-2013, Values in Millions, KWD (“Kuwait International Bank,” 2020).

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Total assets 2,168.595 1,916.040 1,846.030 1,790.047 1,662.579 1,503.443
Total deposits 1,328.798 1,214.292 1,135.510 1,024.509 993.278 948.529
Total credit facilities 1,698.271 1,401.050 1,377.123 1,373.866 1,157.476 1,048.566
Total liabilities 1,895.405 1,655.473 1,594.249 1,545.394 1,424.885 1,279.081
Total equity 273.190 260.567 251.781 244.653 237.694 224.362
Net income 20.892 17.701 18.203 16.002 13.677 13.208
Dividends per share 0.011 0.010 0.010 0.009 0.009 0.007

Boubyan Bank

Boubyan Bank is an Islamic bank founded in 2004, and it is the first bank to be created in accordance with the Law of Islamic Banks no. 33 of 2003 (Boubyan Bank, 2018). Irrespective of its quite young age, the bank managed to earn a positive image and quite high ratings from major rating agencies. Atyeh, Yasin, and Khatib (2015) claim that Kuwaiti Islamic banking was not significantly affected by the financial crisis of 2008, but the economic constraints slowed down its growth.

Table 18. Boubyan Bank’s Core Financial and Stock Highlights (“Boubyan Bank,” 2020).

Highlights (2018-2014) Values in millions, KWD
Total assets 4,344.778
Total deposits 3,818.151
Total credit facilities 3,262.285
Closing stock price 664.000
ROA (5-year average) 1.27%
ROE (5-year average) 10.66%
Net profit margin (5-year average) 36.82%
Dividend per share (5-year average) 0.005

Although some negative factors had an impact on the bank’s performance, Boubyan Bank managed to continue its robust growth (see Table 19). After its establishment, the bank reached financial indicators that enabled it to occupy one of the leading places in the Kuwaiti financial market (see Table 18). The focus on sustainability ensured the bank’s stability and progress, and Boubyan Bank emphasises its commitment to corporate citizenship.

Table 19. Boubyan Bank’s Financial Highlights, 2018-2013, Values in Millions, KWD (“Boubyan Bank,” 2020).

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Total assets 4,344.778 3,970.396 3,481.807 3,132.885 2,647.930 2,191.986
Total deposits 3,818.151 3,466.226 3,021.354 2,781.684 2,309.593 1,893.416
Total credit facilities 3,262.285 2,876.778 2,516.760 2,171.794 1,805.115 1,478.701
Total liabilities 3,861.133 3,520.252 3,061.448 2,814.653 2,351.903 1,928.042
Total equity 483.645 450.144 420.359 318.232 296.027 263.944
Net income 56.108 47.605 41.071 35.235 28.239 13.408
Dividends per share 0.007 0.006 0.005 0.004 0.004 0.000

Warba Bank

Warba Bank is an Islamic bank, and it was founded in 2010 (Warba Bank, 2018). Warba Bank received a high rating from major rating agencies and has several awards. The bank’s corporate governance enabled it to grow steadily, although the company’s progress is rather modest compared to other Kuwaiti banks (AlAli & AlShamali, 2019). For instance, its dividend per share indicator, as well as ROA and ROE, is very low (see Table 20).

Table 20. Warba Bank’s Core Financial and Stock Highlights (“Warba Bank,” 2020).

Highlights (2018-2014) Values in millions, KWD
Total assets 2,194.472
Total deposits 1,888.241
Total credit facilities 1,607.945
Closing stock price 275.000
ROA (5-year average) 0.43%
ROE (5-year average) 2.60%
Net profit margin (5-year average) 16.79%
Dividend per share (5-year average) 0.000

It is necessary to note that Warba Bank showed continuous growth in the period between 2013 and 2018 (see Table 21). Nevertheless, the company’s performance is still rather modest compared to other Islamic, as well as conventional banks. Although Warba Bank seems to employ the most effective strategies and concentrates on innovation and corporate citizenship, it is unable to achieve substantial progress, especially when it comes to certain financial indicators.

Table 21. Warba Bank’s Financial Highlights, 2018-2013, Values in Millions, KWD (“Warba Bank,” 2020).

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Total assets 2,194.472 1,774.545 1,126.962 776.107 594.805 405.510
Total deposits 1,888.241 1,581.717 1,024.629 677.798 499.178 246.862
Total credit facilities 1,607.945 1,263.322 827.872 543.794 388.159 218.028
Total liabilities 1,923.544 1,597.586 1,032.190 683.827 502.940 314.865
Total equity 270.928 176.959 94.772 92.280 91.865 90.645
Net income 12.738 7.454 2.575 1.000 0.115 12.738
Dividends per share 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000

Ahli United Bank (Almutahed)

The establishment of Ahli United Bank (Almutahed) (AUB) was a result of the merger of Al-Ahli Commercial Bank B. S. C. (Bahrain) and the United Bank of Kuwait in 2000 (Ahli United Bank (Almutahed), 2018). The bank in question operates in Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Libya, and Oman. This Islamic bank offers various retail and corporate financial services compliant with the laws of Sharia.

Table 22. Ahli United Bank (Almutahed): Core Financial and Stock Highlights (“Ahli United Bank (Almutahed),” 2020).

Highlights (2018-2014) Values in millions, KWD
Total assets 3,913.653
Total deposits 3,343.167
Total credit facilities 2,799.906
Closing stock price 339.000
ROA (5-year average) 1.17%
ROE (5-year average) 10.98%
Net profit margin (5-year average) 37.42%
Dividend per share (5-year average) 0.009

The bank’s performance during the past five years was rather turbulent, with significant negative fluctuations in 2014 and 2015 (see Table 23). At the same time, the period from 2016 to 2018 could be regarded as favourable for the company (Ahli United Bank (Almutahed), 2018). AUB reached quite high results in 2018, especially in terms of its net profit margin, ROA and ROE (see Table 22).

Table 23. Ahli United Bank (Almutahed): Financial Highlights, 2018-2013, Values in Millions, KWD (“Ahli United Bank (Almutahed),” 2020).

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Total assets 3,913.653 3,665.579 3,692.161 3,904.303 3,596.928 3,164.976
Total deposits 3,343.167 3,135.148 3,194.023 3,490.618 3,210.494 2,793.414
Total credit facilities 2,799.906 2,672.832 2,706.054 2,680.334 2,480.431 2,140.922
Total liabilities 3,422.251 3,197.991 3,246.473 3,548.145 3,270.060 2,855.184
Total equity 491.402 467.588 445.688 356.158 326.868 309.792
Net income 51.255 44.463 40.348 42.805 47.008 42.459
Dividends per share 0.014 0.012 0.010 0.004 0.007 0.013


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