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Gulf banks’ cash dividends grow 46% to reach $25 billion in 2023

Collectively, Gulf banks achieved record net profits during 2023, totaling $53.66 billion, representing a 24% rise from the financial results of 2022, which amounted to $43.3 billion.

• The Kuwaiti banking sector ranked fourth in the Gulf, with combined net profits amounting to $4.98 billion in 2023, reflecting a 30% growth.

• Kuwaiti banks distributed cash dividends to shareholders totaling $2.4 billion, constituting about10% of the total cash dividends distributed by Gulf banks for 2023.

• Kuwait Finance House ranked ninth in terms of net profits for 2023, totaling $1.9 billion, and distributed $948 million in cash dividends to shareholders

After the financial reporting period for the fifty five Gulf banks listed on the Gulf stock exchanges, including conventional and Islamic banks, for the year 2023 concluded, a comprehensive analytical study of their financial performance throughout the year revealed that the majority of banks achieved positive outcomes and experienced growth in their net profits for 2023.

Collectively, Gulf banks achieved record net profits during 2023, totaling $53.66 billion, representing a 24% increase from the financial results of 2022, which amounted to $43.3 billion.

Consequently, the cash dividends distributed to shareholders of these banks for the year 2023 amounted to approximately $25 billion, which equates to a cash dividend distribution ratio to net profits of 46%.

The Saudi banking sector recorded the highest distribution ratio at 52%, while it stood at 48% for the Kuwaiti banking sector and 43% for Emirati banks (48% on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and 38% on the Dubai Financial Market). Qatari banks listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange had a distribution ratio of 41%.

The Emirati banking sector led in terms of net profits for 2023, with the combined net profits of the sector (across both the Dubai and Abu Dhabi exchanges) reaching $20.3 billion, marking a 45% growth from 2022 and accounting for 38% of the total net profits of Gulf banks.

Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti banking sector ranked fourth in the Gulf, with combined net profits amounting to $4.98 billion in 2023, reflecting a 30% growth. Kuwaiti banks distributed cash dividends to shareholders totaling $2.4 billion, constituting approximately 10% of the total cash dividends distributed by Gulf banks for 2023.

Emirati, Saudi, Qatari, and Kuwaiti banks dominated the list of the top 20 most profitable banks. Emirates NBD topped the list of Gulf commercial banks in terms of profitability for 2023, with a net profit of $5.85 billion, marking a 65% growth from 2022, and distributed $2 billion in cash dividends to shareholders.

Al Rajhi Bank of Saudi Arabia ranked second in profitability, with a net profit of $5.33 billion and distributed $2.8 billion in cash dividends. Abu Dhabi First Bank ranked third, with a net profit of $4.47 billion.

In Kuwait, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) ranked ninth in terms of net profits for 2023, totaling $1.9 billion, and distributed $948 million in cash dividends to shareholders. Meanwhile, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) ranked 12th in the Gulf with a net profit of $1.36 billion and distributed $900 million to shareholders.



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