National Bank of Kuwait Q1 net profit up 15.1%, beats forecasts

The bank said the increase in net interest income reflected strong growth in business volumes



National Bank of Kuwait, the country’s biggest lender, reported a 15.1 per cent rise in first-quarter profit, helped by higher net interest income and lower provisioning charges, beating analysts’ forecasts.

The bank said net profit totalled KD107.7m ($354.45m) during the January to March period, up from KD93.6m a year earlier.

EFG Hermes had made a net profit projection for NBK of KD100m for the period, while SICO Bahrain had an estimate of KD96m.

The bank said the increase in net interest income reflected strong growth in business volumes.

Big Kuwaiti lenders such as NBK have benefited from increased spending on government-backed projects, supported by higher oil prices. Analysts expect corporate borrowing appetite will continue to improve in Kuwait amid higher oil prices.

Oil markets have been lifted by more than 30 per cent this year by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and U.S. sanctions on oil exporters Iran and Venezuela, plus escalating conflict in OPEC member Libya.