Kuwait: Best Islamic Bank 2021
Ahli United Bank
Ahli United Bank’s big breakthrough took place in 2010 when it became a Shariah-compliant bank. It hasn’t looked back since.
As Fitch Ratings put it in a report in April, AUB has proven central to the Kuwaiti government’s efforts to support national growth and stability. Along with loan deferrals across sectors, particularly for SMEs, AUB maintained banking services around the clock, while both increasing its digital offerings and making branches as safe as possible during the pandemic. During the worst of the Covid-19 lockdowns, AUB coordinated efforts closely with the Kuwaiti government and the central bank.
It took one for the national team in 2020, so to speak, recording an 18% year-on-year drop in total operating income: Market watchers attribute this to its support of the economy during the Covid-19 crisis.
Looking ahead, the bank is vying to be the go-to institution for the issuance of Tier 1 dollar-denominated sukuk. Earlier this year, it hired Citi, HSBC and Standard Chartered to help arrange issuance deals.