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National Bank of Kuwait - Financial strength rating changed from negative to stable
Global Arab Network -
Moody's changes outlook on National Bank of Kuwait to stable from negative
Moody's Investors Service has today changed the outlook for the foreign currency deposit rating of National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) to stable from negative. All other ratings of the bank remain unchanged.

This change was prompted by Moody's sovereign rating action, announced earlier today, to change from negative to stable the outlook on Kuwait's foreign currency deposit ceiling. Consequently, NBK's long-term foreign currency deposit rating has stabilised at Aa2 and is currently unconstrained by the ceiling. Moody's sovereign action on Kuwait was prompted by (i) the improved government effectiveness as reflected by the country's parliament's approval of some long-awaited items of economic legislation; and (ii) Kuwait's strong fiscal and external performance relative to its rating peers (for more details please see press release titled "Moody's changes outlook on Kuwait's sovereign ratings to stable"
issued on 05 August 2010).

NBK's ratings are now as follows:

- Stand-alone bank financial strength rating (BFSR) unchanged at C+/A2

- Local and foreign currency deposit and senior debt ratings unchanged at
Aa2/Prime-1 (unconstrained at the respective ceilings)

- Commercial Paper and short-term bank deposit ratings unchanged at

- The outlook on all ratings is now stable.

The previous rating action on NBK was implemented on 26 August 2009, when Moody's confirmed the long-term Aa2 global local currency (GLC) deposit rating, as well as the long-term Aa2 foreign currency deposit rating of the bank. At the time, NBK's BFSR was downgraded to C+ from B-, mapping to a baseline credit assessment of A2, while the bank's short-term local and foreign currency ratings as well as the rating assigned to its commercial paper programme were affirmed at Prime-1.

The principal methodologies used in rating this issuer are Moody's "Bank Financial Strength Ratings: Global Methodology", published in February 2007 and "Incorporation of Joint-Default Analysis into Moody's Bank Ratings: A Refined Methodology", published in March 2007, both of which are available on www.moodys.com in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory under the Research & Ratings tab. Other methodologies and factors that may have been considered in the process of rating this issuer can also be found in the Rating Methodologies sub-directory on Moody's website.

Headquartered in Safat, Kuwait, NBK reported total assets of KWD12.5 billion (US$43.2 billion) at the end of June 2010.

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