Kuwait’s largest lender, National Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK) 2013 first half net profit of $450.3 Million (KD 128.5 Million) is a growth of 6.4% year-on-year compared to $423.2 million (KD 120.8 Million) reported for the same period in 2012. Announcing the results NBK Chairman Mohammed Abdulrahman Al Bahar said as of end of June 2013, NBK Group’s total assets reached $62.8 Billion (KD 17.9 Billion) up 25.3% compared to June 2012, while total shareholders’ equity increased by 3.9% YoY to $8.4 Billion (KD 2.39 Billion). “NBK continues to focus on core banking activities in and outside Kuwait. The recent increase of our stake in Boubyan Bank to 58.4% strengthened our presence in the Islamic banking market and contributed to our operating income. In the 1H2013, net operating income grew 18.3% YoY to $1.095 billion,” Al Bahar said. The bank’s Earnings Per Share increased to 29 fils from 27 fils in the same period. NBK’s Group Chief Executive Officer Ibrahim Dabdoub said, “NBK continued to deliver solid performance despite the slow pace of economic activity so far this year. NBK’s conservative management practices and its strong financial position helped the bank sustain its profitability and resilient market position.” Dabdoub also highlighted that domestically the overall outlook started improving. “We have started witnessing some acceleration in the tendering, award and execution of some of the large projects. During the second quarter NBK led several large financing transactions in the Kuwaiti market relating to public and private sector projects, an indication of the overall improvement in the economic outlook and business sentiment,” Dabdoub added.