KPMG publishes GCC listed banks’ results (FY22); Kuwait’s net profit by average and RoE highest in the sector

KPMG recently released the seventh edition of its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) listed banks’ results report which analyzes the financial outcomes and key performance indicators for the leading listed commercial banks across the GCC, as compared to the previous year. This report provides banking industry leaders with succinct analysis along with insights and forward-looking views. The report titled ‘A new reality’ highlights some of the major financial trends identified in the banking sector across the region. Through this publication, KPMG aims at sharing the views of the Heads of Financial Services from its member firms in the six GCC countries where they share insights on their respective banking markets, specifically on the financial results of the leading listed banks. In addition, KPMG trusts that its analysis, insights and predictions will continue to help drive banking strategies and shape the industry across the region.

The report highlights that proactive and timely measures combined with government aid helped the GCC banking sector become more robust and resilient, leading banks to shift their focus toward the digitalization of business processes, prioritization of environmental, social and governance (ESG), effective management of non-performing loans (NPL), and adoption of agile working practices, among others.

In the last two years, the sector witnessed a cautious growth as banks focused on embracing technology and reducing costs rather then pushing for larger profits. This strategy turned out to be a winning one, as the sector witnessed unprecedented growth and profits exceeded all expectations this year. The banks within GCC continue to accelerate digital investments, providing a digital-first approach to the customers and partnering with various fintech firms to make banking more accessible to all.

Bhavesh Gandhi

Risk Management Leader - KPMG’s Middle East South Asia and Caspian region and Head of Financial Services, KPMG in Kuwait

KPMG in Kuwait


Some of the key highlights that emerged from the report have been listed below:

—   Total assets in Kuwait grew from USD 301.6b in 2020 to USD 320.7b in 2021, climbing by about 6.3%.


—   Kuwait’s total net profit witnessed a monumental rise of about 91.4% and shot up to USD 2907.7m from 2020’s USD 1519.5m.


—   The country’s average CAR and RoA also rose marginally by 0.4% to 18.3% and 0.9%, respectively.


—   In addition, return on equity in the country increased to 8.9%, rising by 4.5%.


—   Lastly, Kuwait’s cost-to-income ratio and coverage ratio for stage three loans improved marginally with a y-o-y growth rate of 1% and 2%, respectively.

From a dip of more than 50% in the total net profit in 2020 to a profit of nearly 92% in 2021, banks have witnessed a V-shape recovery in Kuwait. The sector continues to be well capitalized with the average CAR at 18.3%. Furthermore, the rising interest rate environment and effective NPL management is likely to help drive profitability and growth. With a predicted economic recovery, fueled by higher oil prices, the Kuwaiti banks can see stabilization in any potential credit volatility, which, in turn, will support this resilient sector, added Bhavesh.

The report concluded with some predictions from the KPMG Financial service leaders who believe that the banking environment in GCC might see an increased regulatory oversight driven by global developments and use of technology. Furthermore, the GCC banks will see an increase in consolidations and M&A would be one of the focus areas for the board as the banks continue to grow bigger. KPMG experts also predict, ESG to take the CenterStage as the regulators plan to create policies around a common ESG reporting system. Sustainability will not only be focus for the banks but for all the stakeholders including investors and customers. Besides these, continued digital transformation approach along with a focus towards reducing the operational costs will shape the industry in the coming year.

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