Revealed: Top banks in Kuwait

Kuwait’s biggest listed banks ranked by total asset size



Economic growth across the GCC region accelerated in 2018. GDP growth for the GCC was a much higher 2 per cent last year, against 0.6 per cent in 2017. This aided asset growth for Gulf banks in 2018. There are ongoing efforts and reforms being made towards improving the business environment in the region.

In 2019, economic growth is forecast to be slightly higher at 2.1 per cent – and is expected to accelerate to 3.2 per cent in 2020. There remained significant variation in performance, with a small number of banks seeing declining asset bases, but most recorded healthy growth in assets. Many banks achieved good rises in net profit year-on-year. Net profit for the Gulf banking sector increased by 12 per cent in 2018.

READ: Top 10 banks in the UAE

Looking at Kuwait, the possible cross-border merger between Kuwait Finance House and Ahli United Bank reflects consolidation in the industry. But cross-border transactions are challenging and it is likely that there will continue to be merger activity in the region.

READ: Top 10 banks in Saudi Arabia

Outlook

Bank interest margins may tighten slightly in some GCC markets due to competitive pricing and lower interest rates. Nonetheless, net interest income will grow as loan growth continues, although modestly. Private credit growth was also good in Kuwait.

TOP BANKS IN KUWAIT
(Based on total assets of listed banks at the end of 2018)

1. National Bank of Kuwait
Assets in 2018 ($000): 90,315,585
Assets in 2017 ($000): 86,238,700
Growth percentage (2017-2018): 4.73
2018 net profit ($000): 1,225,531
Return on assets (ROA) in 2018: 1.36%

2. Kuwait Finance House
Assets in 2018 ($000): 58,514,531
Assets in 2017 ($000): 57,497,701
Growth percentage (2017-2018): 1.77
2018 net profit ($000): 751,800
Return on assets (ROA) in 2018: 1.28%

3. Burgan Bank
Assets in 2018 ($000): 24,077,447
Assets in 2017 ($000): 24,562,629
Growth percentage (2017-2018): -1.98
2018 net profit ($000): 272,999
Return on assets (ROA) in 2018: 1.13%

4. Gulf Bank
Assets in 2018 ($000): 19,810,817
Assets in 2017 ($000): 18,826,076
Growth percentage (2017-2018): 5.23
2018 net profit ($000): 187,581
Return on assets (ROA) in 2018: 0.95%

5. Al Ali Bank Kuwait
Assets in 2018 ($000): 14,977,207
Assets in 2017 ($000): 14,448,064
Growth percentage (2017-2018): 3.66
2018 net profit ($000): 139,228
Return on assets (ROA) in 2018: 0.93%