Korea's best corporate and investment bank 2021: KB Financial Group
KB Financial Group
South Korea’s KB Financial Group is a clear winner of the best corporate and investment bank award, if only for making navigating the last 20 months of pandemic turmoil look easy.
After producing a healthy 4.3% annual growth in net profit to W3.5 trillion ($3 billion) in 2020, CEO Jong Kyoo Yoon’s team announced an even bigger increase in the nine months to the end of September. The net profit of $3.14 billion marked a year-on-year increase of more than 31%. In the July-to-September period, KB’s net profit jumped 7.8% from the preceding three months.
This performance is testament to KB correctly calling – and positioning for – Bank of Korea’s interest rate cycle. In August 2021, BOK became the first major Asian monetary power to hike borrowing costs. But KB still increased its net profit from higher loan revenues because it focused on lending to higher-quality, if rate-sensitive, corporate credits.
The group got a lift from its flagship banking unit, KB Kookmin Bank, which saw a 16.9% jump, year on year, in net profits from January to September. And as the BOK tilts toward more rate hikes, KB executives are confident that profits will far outpace any losses experienced by borrowers struggling to make payments.