National Bank of Kuwait, the largest lender in the country, has said that profit for 2012 rose 1 per cent to $1.09bn, but said it was becoming more optimistic on the outlook for this year on higher government spending.

Chief executive officer Ibrahim Dabdoub said the government was accelerating spending on large projects and that was creating a better environment for banks. This contrasts with last year, when he blamed the government for “insufficient” spending and delays in tendering projects, which led to “slower economic activity and an underperforming stock market”.

The bank also said that assets rose to $58.4bn in 2012, up from $48.5bn at the end of 2011.