Net profits rose by 4 per cent to$355 million last year. ‘Our financial results were driven by outstanding deposit and loan growth, made possible by our leading position in all business areas of the local market, solid growth in non-interest income and consistently strong assets,’ NBK chief executive Ibrahim Dabdoub said in a statement.

NBK generated returns on equity of 24.2 per cent and returns on assets of 2 per cent. The bank’s total assets stood at about $17,600 million at the end of 2002, compared with $14,600 million the previous year.

‘The results are also a reflection of effective cost management, which has increased our operational efficiency,’ Dabdoub said. ‘As we move beyond the current low interest cycle rate, we are well positioned for the high degree of leverage offered by the structure of our liabilities.’