With a raft of large-scale, government-led development projects on the docket, rising retail deposits and strong support from regulators and other authorities, Kuwait’s banking sector is widely considered to be poised for a period of long-term growth. This follows a difficult period linked to the broader economic volatility that has impacted the Gulf region in recent years. Nonetheless, as of the first quarter of 2016 the nation’s 11 domestic lenders had KD59.8bn ($197.8bn) in total assets, up considerably from KD56.7bn ($187.5bn) at the end of the same period in 2015. Relatively plentiful liquidity has contributed to rising levels of credit issuance in 2015 and 2016, with data showing industry-wide credit growth in excess of 8% over the course of 2015.
This chapter contains an interview with Mohammad Y Al Hashel, Governor, Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK).