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Gulf Bank’s long-term rating raised to ‘A-‘ with stable outlook

S&P also affirmed the 'A-2' short-term counterparty credit rating on the bank.

Standard & Poor’s (S&P), the world’s leading international credit rating agency, raised Gulf Bank’s long-term credit rating to (A-) from (BBB+) with a stable outlook.

S&P also affirmed the ‘A-2’ short-term counterparty credit rating on the bank. The stable outlook reflects S&P’s assessment that Gulf Bank will maintain its business stability, funding, and liquidity profile at the current levels over the next 24 months.

Commenting on the upgrade, Mr. Omar Kutayba Alghanim, Gulf Bank’s Chairman said: “At Gulf Bank, we are opening a new era of growth, progress and innovation founded on solid grounds. I would like to thank our clients, the Board and the Central Bank for their unfaltering support over these years that have made achieving this landmark possible.”

“S&P’s upgrade is an endorsement of our strong leadership and our dedicated work force, as well as our risk management systems and controls. Over the past few years we have been consistent in seeking to strengthen our balance sheet and have addressed the challenges of the market both realistically and confidently, focusing on our core skills of consumer and corporate banking. This has helped to create a strong platform, which has allowed the bank to expand its customer base and position itself for future growth. Finally I would also like to thank our CEO and the excellent management team for this accomplishment.”

Gulf Bank welcomed 2015 with strong first quarter results, recording a net profit of KD 9.8 million for the first quarter of 2015 which is a 12% increase over the same period in 2014. During the same period, the operating profit before provisions increased by 15% to KD 27.2 million from KD 23.6 million, mainly due to an increase in net interest income by 9%. The bank’s key metrics have also witnessed strong growth which contributed to the overall improvement in the performance of the bank. The Capital Adequacy under Basel III is at 15.2% against the regulatory requirement of 12.5%.