Billion Dollar Baby: One of the Gulf's Biggest Banks Is Making an Impression on the International Stage. CEO Ibrahim Dabdoub Talks to Eddie O'Sullivan about His Quarter of a Century at the Helm
O'Sullivan, Eddie, MEED Middle East Economic Digest
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the largest bank in Kuwait, is looking to the future with confidence. Another year of record profits is in prospect and regional expansion plans include starting operations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Early in 2006, its chief executive officer (CEO) Ibrahim Dabdoub will celebrate the 25th anniversary of taking over the leadership of what many believe is one of the best universal banks in the Arab world. Even in a region where business leaders are known for their longevity, this is an unbeatable record.
The result is rich dividends for NBK's shareholders. The bank increased profits by 24 per cent in 2004 and became one of a handful of Middle East businesses earning more than half a billion dollars a year. "I think 2005 will be as good as 2004 or even better," Dabdoub says. The Kuwait economy has grown by more than 30 per cent in the past two years and prospects for the next five are good. "I think this trend will last," he adds.
Dabdoub joined NBK in January 1961. The bank blossomed after oil prices quadrupled in 1973-74. By the end of the 1970s, Dabdoub was number two in the bank. In 1981, he took the top job, becoming the first Arab to head a Kuwaiti bank.
"The turning point for NBK was in the mid-1970s," Dabdoub recalls. …
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Publication information: Article title: Billion Dollar Baby: One of the Gulf's Biggest Banks Is Making an Impression on the International Stage. CEO Ibrahim Dabdoub Talks to Eddie O'Sullivan about His Quarter of a Century at the Helm. Contributors: O'Sullivan, Eddie - Author. Magazine title: MEED Middle East Economic Digest. Volume: 49. Issue: 12 Publication date: March 25, 2005. Page number: 38+. © 1999 MEED Middle East Economic Digest. All Rights Reserved. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
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