KUWAIT CITY, Feb 18: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) — Bahrain, a member of NBK Group, reported net profits of $114 million (BHD 42.9 million) for the year 2013 compared with $92 million (BHD 34.6 million) in 2012, a growth of 24 % year-on-year (y-o-y). NBK Bahrain's total assets increased by 41% y-o-y to $7.75 billion as of end of December 2013, compared with $5.5 billion as of end of December 2012. Shareholders' Equity increased by 17% y-o-y to $746 million from $636 million a year ago. Customers' deposits were up 114% y-o-y to $4.5 billion at the end of 2013, compared with $2.1 billion at the end of 2012. Ibrahim S. Dabdoub, NBK Group CEO said: "NBK Bahrain's performance remains solid given the challenging operating environment. This performance is a clear evidence that our regional expansion strategy is successful and rewarding despite the challenges in the region. Our strategy is built on a culture of prudence and strict risk management practices, which continues to serve us well in all times." Dabdoub added: "We are successfully strengthening our position regionally. Our strategic initiative has become a main pillar on which we will build future growth. We expect the contribution of our international operations to the Group's profitability to continue growing." Ali Fardan, NBK Bahrain General Manager, said: "This strong performance attests to the solid foundations on which the bank was built. NBK Bahrain has been able to sail through the storm unscathed, as we have consistently focused on our core business and ways to diversify sources of income. The quality of our assets is beyond reproach. Meanwhile, we continue to grow our operations and develop new products to serve our corporate and retail customers." NBK has been present in Bahrain since 1977 and enjoys strong and historical relationships with the major Bahraini and international companies. NBK has the widest banking presence with around 170 branches worldwide. NBK's international presence spans many of the world's leading financial centers including London, Paris, Geneva, New York and Singapore, as well as China (Shanghai). Meanwhile, regional coverage extends to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey. NBK continues to enjoy collectively the highest ratings among all banks in the Middle East from the three international rating agencies Moody's, Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor's. The Bank's ratings are supported by its high capitalization, prudent lending policies, and its disciplined approach to risk management, in addition to its highly recognized and very stable management team. NBK was also named among Global Finance's list of the 50 safest banks in the world for the eighth consecutive time.