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Gulf Bank Q1 Operating Profit Surges

Gulf Bank, a Kuwait-based financial institution, has posted an operating profit of KWD44.3m for the first quarter of 2010, compared to KWD15.6m for the corresponding period of 2009, achieving a growth rate of nearly 280%.

The first quarter results included gain of KWD14m on the sale of an investment portfolio.

Ali Al-Rashaid Al-Bader, chairman of Gulf Bank, said: “In view of the fact that the Kuwaiti economy is still in the primary stages of recovery from the consequences of the global financial and economic crisis, the bank had to cope with the market conditions through continuing to implement precautionary plans to meet the technical provisioning requirements. This necessitated setting aside the bulk of the operating profit of KWD44.3m for 2010 first quarter, and adding this amount to the provisions made to offset the risks of certain existing credit facilities.

“As a result, net profit declared for the 2010 first quarter amounted to KWD524,000. Provisions enhancement and improvements in collateral led to improving the capital adequacy ratio of the bank from 15.9% as at December 31, 2009, to 17.4% as at March 31, 2010.

“The results were driven by a set of positive factors that contributed to the bank’s acceptable performance during 2010 first quarter. These include the great efforts exerted by the bank towards improving the credit and investment portfolios profile; the general improvement in the local and regional economic activity; and the adherence to the bank’s conservative strategy by focusing on the core banking business which responds to the requirements of the various customer segments.”