An easing of disruptions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, a sustained increase in oil and gas receipts, and the rollout of a new law providing a framework for establishing digital offerings have given Kuwait’s banking sector renewed confidence that has been supported by the country’s wider economic recovery. Indeed, with real GDP returning to growth in 2021 and expected by the IMF to reach as high as 8.7% in 2022, credit and profitability look set to see further expansion. The sector is notable for its high liquidity and strong capitalisation, both of which helped it navigate the uncertainties associated with the pandemic and other global headwinds. Government-led pandemic amelioration and recovery measures helped support depositors and banks, a trend reinforced by the stable rate of deposits from the retail sector and government-related entities observed during the second half of 2021.
This chapter contains an interview with Basel Al Haroon, Governor, Central Bank of Kuwait, and a dialogue with Sheikh Ahmad Duaij Jaber Al Sabah, Chairman, Commercial Bank of Kuwait; and George Richani, CEO, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait.