Net profits rose 14 per cent in 2007 to $1bn, from $876m the previous year.

Operating profits increased 44 per cent to $1.5bn from $1bn in 2006. The bank’s assets totalled $42.3bn at the end of 2007.

National Bank of Kuwait is expanding in the region. In 2007, it bought Al-Watany Bank of Egypt, a 40 per cent stake in Turkish Bank and increased its stake to 30 per cent in International Bank of Qatar. It has also expanded its presence into Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Iraq.