National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) has reported net profits of KD 76.3 million ($248 million) for the first nine months of the year, a 12.2 per cent improvement on the same period of last year.

The strong increase in profits has been fuelled by the continued growth of fee-based income, which contributed KD 24.5 million ($79.7 million) in the ninemonth period, a 15 per cent improvement.

‘Consistent growth of our fee-based income is the result of a carefully drawn and executed strategy to make NBK a financial services supermarket, ‘ says Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK’s chief executive, in a statement. To this end, the bank has consistently taken the lead in the introduction of new technologies and it is planning to launch online brokerage services on 25 October.

NBK is the dominant bank in Kuwait, with a market share exceeding 40 per cent, and it is in the process of expanding its activities in the Arab world. It tabled the winning bid for Egypt’s Misr America International Bank (MAIB) in May (MEED 26:5:00). Negotiations over the final details of the acquisition of MAIB are well advanced, bank officials say, and the transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the year.