Fitch Affirms 9 Kuwaiti Banks; Upgrades Gulf Bank’s VR
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Fitch Ratings-London-09 November 2015: Fitch Ratings has affirmed National Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘AA-‘. The Long-term IDRs of Kuwait Finance House (KFH), Gulf Bank (GB), Commercial Bank of Kuwait (CBK), Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK), Ahli United Bank (Kuwait) (AUBK), Kuwait International Bank (KIB), Industrial Bank of Kuwait (IBK) and Boubyan Bank (Boubyan) have all been affirmed at ‘A+’. The Outlooks on all Long-term IDRs are Stable. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this rating action commentary.

Fitch has upgraded GB’s Viability Rating (VR) to ‘bb’ from ‘bb-‘ due to its stronger company profile post restructuring. The bank has completed a wide ranging restructuring and worked out previously significant volumes of impaired loans, since the capital support it received by the Kuwait Investment Authority in 2008 following large derivatives losses. The upgrade also reflects GB’s lower risk appetite.

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