The first quarter of 2022 proved to be the best quarters for banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council as they raked in $10.9 billion in aggregate profits, a Kamco Invest report showed.
This is one of the highest quarterly levels on record.
Five out of six Gulf countries saw their banks post double-digit profit growth in the first quarter of 2022, while Kuwaiti banks’ profits grew slightly lower at 0.9 percent.
Kamco Invest said improved results were backed by solid economic growth and recovery in post-pandemic demand amid rising oil prices.
Moreover, the loose fiscal policies in the region and globally that were implemented last year with an aim to boost investments supported investment in businesses, the report added.
The bottom line was supported by marginal growth in net interest income and flattish non-interest income.
According to the report, banks in the region recorded a drop of 39.6 percent in cost-to-income ratio compared to the previous quarter, led by a steep drop in operating expenses.
The increase in profit was also supported by a steep q-o-q decline in loan loss provisions booked by banks in the region. Total provisions dropped by a quarter to $2.9 billion during Q1-2022 as compared to $3.8 billion in Q4-2021.