Fitch rating agency upgraded Kuwait Finance House-Turkey (KFH-Turkey) rating to BBB, while the future vision is positive. The global rating agency stated that the bank’s rating is based on the possibility that it might receive necessary support from its major shareholder, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) that owns 62% of its shares. This rating reinforces the bank’s strength and high performance; in addition to the promising opportunities of the Turkish and neighboring markets.
KFH-Turkey’s Chairman Mohammed Al-Omar said that this rating underscores the bank’s successful planning and work programs; in addition to the outstanding results that are based on operational performance, quality of assets, and the offering of innovative products and services that meet the requirements of clients. This allowed KFH-Turkey to hold a leading status among the Turkish banking field, not to mention making noticeable expansions in neighboring countries by establishing banks in Bahrain, Dubai, Germany, and Kazakhstan. He mentioned that KFH-Turkey achieved since 2007 a 70% increase in revenues, a 100% increase in assets, and a 40% increase in deposits; in addition to reinforcing its existence through a large network of branches that will reach 200 branches by the end of the Q1 of 2011. The rates of profits, shareholders equity, and deposits increased annually by 30-40%.
Moreover, Al-Omar stressed that the quality of assets that KFH-Turkey possesses, its focus on kinds of financing, and the increase in guarantees have played a role in fortifying the bank against the global financial crisis, which allowed it to commence with its investment operations. He noted that the bank has made a significant increase in profits and assets since the beginning of the crisis, and also managed to offer a gold investment fund that is considered to be the first of its kind in Istanbul; in addition to issuing sukuk worth USD 100 million that were covered by 150%. He revealed that the bank has focused on retail banking and the financing of companies in a market that has a volume of USD 1 trillion in annual imports. The Turkish government is highly interested in supporting investors, boosting investment opportunities, and conquering new areas. The bank also plans to expand locally and in major neighboring markets, since there is a high demand for Islamic products and services in the Turkish market. Despite the fact that the number of banks in Turkey dropped from 88 banks in 2002 to 55 banks today, the share of Islamic banks and rate of growth has significantly increased.