National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has reported net profits of $291m for the first quarter of 2011, rising six per cent from the same period last year.

The bank’s total assets reached $50.2bn as of March 2011, a rise of 9 per cent from the first quarter in 2010. Total shareholder equity stood at $7.7bn, rising 19 per cent from $6.4bn. The gross loans ratio fell to 1.69 per cent as of end of March 2011, from 1.81 per cent in March 2010.

“Our results are a testament to our ability to generate strong returns despite challenging regional and global conditions. This is due to our solid core banking operations in and outside Kuwait,” says Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s group chief executive officer.

NBK reported profits of $1.07bn for 2010, while total assets were $46bn and shareholder equity stood at $7.4bn