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Friday 24 September 2021
HomeWorldKuwait's NBK plans capital hike to fund expansion

Kuwait’s NBK plans capital hike to fund expansion

The country’s biggest lender said it planned to raise its capital by 10 percent through a rights issue by the end of the year to fund expansion.

The OPEC member’s oldest bank, which has 69 branches in Kuwait, said in 2009 it would scale back its foreign expansion. Instead, it focused on boosting its sharia-compliant business by raising its stake in Kuwaiti Islamic lender Boubyan Bank .

NBK’s shares fell as much as 3.6 percent. The stock was down 1.79 percent by 0856 GMT, trading at 1.1 dinars.

“NBK’s move is intended to support the bank’s strategic expansion plans which succeeded lately in acquiring 40 percent of Boubyan Bank,” NBK said in statement released on Monday.

The bank said it would hold a rights issue, at a price of 500 fils per share including premium. There are 1,000 fils to the dinar.

NBK will raise its capital by 29.73 million dinars ($103.8 million), to about 327.08 million dinars, according to Reuters calculations. Its current capital is 297.35 million dinars.

The success of the issue is a sure bet with stock offered at roughly half the market price, said Naser al-Nafisi, general manager for Al Joman Center for Economic Consultancy in Kuwait.

“The bank is taking the current financial situation into consideration … to guarantee a 100 percent subscription for the rights issue,” he said.

The new shares will be offered to existing investors and the plan is subject to shareholders’ approval, the bank said.

In September, NBK became the biggest shareholder in Islamic lender Boubyan Bank, after raising its stake to 40 percent.

Boubyan Bank, which complies with Islam’s ban on interest, competes with larger rival Kuwait Finance House and Kuwait International Bank.

NBK has been expanding to offset rising competition at home by buying Al-Watany Bank of Egypt and a 40 percent stake in Istanbul-based Turkish Bank in 2007. It is also active in Qatar through affiliate International Bank of Qatar.

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