Majed Essa Al-Ajeel KUWAIT: Burgan Bank Group announced yesterday its financial year 2013 results. A solid growth in the underlying performance and a significant improvement in the asset quality has characterized the group's performance in 2013 amid the complexity in the regional operating environment. Compared to the same period last year, Operating income surged to KD 254 million registering a growth of 33 percent while Operating Profits before provisions soared to register KD 141 million reflecting a growth of 18 percent. The solid consistent growth over the past quarters clubbed with the positive leading indicators, enabled the bank to accelerate the reserves build up out of prudence. Reserves outstanding in 2013 reached KD 232.5 million. The Group's net profit for the year 2013 reported at KD 20.1 million. The board of directors has recommended a pay-out of 7 fils in cash dividends and 7 percent in bonus shares. The strong operating performance during the financial year 2013 delivered a continuous solid growth in all business lines. Loans & Advances up to KD3.95 billion while customers deposits grew to KD4.6 billion registering annual growth of 17 percent & 19 percent respectively. Net interest income grew by 39 percent while net fees and commission grew by 17 percent compared to last year. Majed Essa Al-Ajeel, Chairman of Burgan Bank Group said: "2013 was a complex year due to the uncertainty that faced the regional operating environment, yet again; every analysis confirms that our underlying performance remains solid and is enabling us to parapet reserves to further enhance our asset quality and build a strong war chest against any surprises. Hence, the decision to book KD 52.6 million as a precautionary reserves, a step that is highly encouraged by the Central Bank of Kuwait." "Asset quality improved in 2013. A significant drop registered in non- performing assets to reach 1.6 percent to gross facilities (net of collaterals) while coverage ratio has increased to reach 256 percent. Capital Adequacy ratio at end of December 2013 reported at 15.4 percent," added Al-Ajeel. Majed Essa Al-Ajeel also said: "Our leading financial indicators continue to point to the right direction. Our regional operations remain profitable and contributing 54 percent to the group's revenues. I remain confident and optimistic of the group's strong performance going forward. " "On behalf of the board, I take this opportunity to thank our customers and shareholders for their confidence in our capabilities. I would also like to thank our executive management team for their leadership and the excellent execution of the corporate strategy, and to our staff for their continued support and commitment," concluded Al-Ajeel. The consolidated financials encompass the results of the Group's operations in Kuwait, and its share from its regional subsidiaries, namely Jordan Kuwait Bank, Gulf Bank Algeria, Burgan Bank – Turkey, Bank of Baghdad, Tunis International Bank, in which Burgan Bank owns a majority stake. Burgan Bank Group has one of the largest regional branch networks with more than 231 branches across Kuwait, Turkey, Jordan, Algeria, Iraq, Tunis, Lebanon and Palestine.
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