The first sharia-compliant bank in Kuwait – Kuwait Finance House, launched the AT1 bond sale with KFH Capital and Standard Chartered as global coordinators. The Additional Tier 1 Sukuk U.S. Dollar-denominated issue is a non-callable bond for a tenure of five and a half years.
Few other banks participating in the issue are Dubai Islamic Bank, Boubyan Bank, Emirates NBD Capital, Mizuho Securities, and First Abu Dhabi Bank; these banks will ensure fixed income investor calls to start from Monday.
The bank got approval for the Sukuk issue worth up to $1 billion from the Central Bank of Kuwait last month. The Sukuk was offered to build capital per Basel III requirements. However, the global banking sector faced challenges in 2020, and Kuwait also had an adverse effect due to the pandemic. As a result, the profitability declined, yet the Kuwaiti government offered support to the small and medium-sized enterprises.
Despite the challenges, the KFH has reported a net profit attributable to the shareholders of KD 148.40 million in 2020. The net financing income for the year ended 2020 reached KD 614.22 million, which is higher than 2019 by 15.8%. The operating expenses of the year decreased by 2.7% and reached KD 296.04 million.
The firm announced digital services to enhance the customer service experience with the latest payment solutions. KFH added a wide range of products like the Oasis Club credit card, Digital Wallet service, which is compatible with NFC technology. In addition, the bank offers initiatives with innovative products that provide seamless banking solutions to the customers.
Economists had forecasted that the GCC would set a record in 2021 in International debt sales as the government plans to clear the deficits and investors look for low interest high yielding bonds. Kuwait has issued bond’s first time in 2017 and has returned to the markets this year. The aim will be to raise international funds to overcome liquidity challenges.
Similarly, Dubai stepped into issuance in the public markets after nearly six years as bankers intend to restructure the financial system, which is ruined in the pandemic.
The Markaz report represented a recovery in the GCC economy in 2021 with a GDP estimation of a 2.6% increase. The oil production and improvement in economic activities will drive the change to return to pre-pandemic levels in the next two years.