Capital Intelligence International Rating Agency upgraded the rating of Kuwait Finance House (KFH) to "A" in terms of financial adequacy. The rating reflects the agency's appreciation of the substantial growth and the multi-form positive development of KFH's positions. It marks the higher asset quality, its capability to fulfill its obligations, possession of several good credit and financial characteristics, successful efforts towards international expansion, technology utilization, and higher profit, despite the sharp competition, as well as adopting a safe policy and risk mitigation methodology.
In a press release, Abdul Aziz Al-Rasheed al-Bader, KFH's Risk Management Department Manager stated that this is the highest rating gained by an Islamic bank in Kuwait. "It is the outcome of growth and high performance of KFH during the last year and the first half of this year." He explained, "It comes within the context of overall betterment. The bank's financial adequacy rating is upgraded from A- to A, and the short-term FC deposits rating was also upgraded from A2 to A1, with stable outlook." He added.
"In its report, the agency stated several reasons to commend KFH, thus raising its credit rating from its 2005 rating of A-." He elaborated, "These include: the strong growth of assets in KFH and its subsidiaries, despite the sharp competition by the new Islamic banks, Islamic products in traditional banks, entry of new banks into the market, the growth and expansion of investment activity outside Kuwait, with strong momentum, through subsidiaries and equity partnerships." He continued. "The prescription of new rules for risk management, coupled with the applicable policies regarding observation of legislation and regulations, caused enhancement of asset quality, improvement of irregular finance coverage, maintaining the deposit growth trends, higher profit and causing the capital base to almost double." He stressed.
""The agency also reports that KFH benefits from its growing global franchises in building the customer deposits, and distributing record dividends on the invested part of deposits, based on customer preferences." He said. "Profit for 2005 ranged between 81% for uninterrupted deposit, 5.29% for Al-Sidra deposit, and 4.54% for savings accounts, the highest on the local market level. The liabilities side of the balance sheet also registered substantial positive changes in terms of customer deposits, which rose by 21% over the first 6 months." He continued.
The agency commended what it called "KFH' decision for further diversification of financing operations" by entering into the global market to address any potential liquidity problem, even with the expansion of its deposit base. Income from profit sharing rose by 78% compared to the last 12 months, thus reflecting the sharp increase in the debit account portfolio and the improved returns. All other channels of income have also registered good gains, indicating that KFH has witnessed another good year.
"The report also commends KFH's achievements on the level of retail banking. It has strengths in the area of consumer and real estate financing, with the expansion of its presence within and outside Kuwait to achieve its vision: to become a global Islamic bank." He added. "There are plans to launch new products and services in the area of private banking, via personal, online or phone delivery channels." He continued. "IT services are being upgraded to app