NIC: A Journey of Great Successes and Developments in 2021
- NIC strengthens its presence and leading position as one of the largest investment companies in Kuwait and the region
- Outstanding performance of NIC reflects the success of executive management in adopting effective strategies
- NIC made a strong start in 2021 by recording positive performance and creating new growth trajectories despite the economic challenges
- Launching Market Maker service and handling shares of “Boursa Kuwait” and “Gulf Cable”
- NIC to roll out NICTRADE digital platform for trading in Boursa Kuwait and 80 global markets
- Launching the electronic portal service for customers “Client Portal” which will enable customers to easily access all services and products
- The company is on the right track and applies its institutional maturity and transparency to all its activities and in dealing with supervisory and regulatory authorities
- NIC always strives to be proactive in advancing the company’s sectors to new and broader horizons
- A jump in the company’s profits during the first half of the year to achieve a net profit of KD 15.1 mn
- KD 1.1 bn of AUM and outstanding growth in total assets of KD 239.5 mn
- Maintaining distributable profits and reserves of KD 38.9 million despite the economic conditions in the region
- Investment funds achieved record performance in the first nine months of 2021
- NIC started 2021 with mergers and acquisitions, sale and restructuring activities as well as diversified advisory services
- The five global awards NIC received during the year reflect the teamwork in the company
- Intensive strategic CSR efforts and focusing on meeting the needs and requirements of society
National Investments Co. achieved exceptional successes at various levels during 2021 based on steady steps and insightful vision. This emphasized the company’s leading and prestigious position as one of the largest investment companies in Kuwait and the region, moving forward in implementing an ambitious and effective strategy based on effective presence in the market, gaining customer confidence, and promoting digital innovation in investment products and services.
During 2021, NIC won five prestigious awards from leading global platforms in recognition of the company’s efforts to provide the highest level of investment services and financial products and its keenness to continue its excellent business performance. The awards are an incentive for further achievement and success in line with the interest NIC enjoys locally and regionally.
Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Fahad Al-Mukhaizim said: “The company has made a strong start during the year due to the positive performance in creating new trajectories of growth despite the economic challenges, seizing distinguished opportunities, seeking strengthening its leadership by offering wide- range investment products and services, and achieving outstanding financial returns, based on a clear investment approach and efforts if its team that has a long experience and a track record of achievements.
Market Maker Service
“As part of its efforts to launch services and products that keep pace with customer aspirations, NIC successfully launched on August 22, 2021, the Market Maker service in Boursa Kuwait. The stock of Boursa Kuwait Company was chosen to be the first company to benefit from the service, in addition to Gulf Cable Company. It is expected that more companies will be added over the next few weeks.” Al-Mukhaizim explained.
He pointed out that NIC was keen to offer the market maker for providing liquidity to the company so that it benefits from the service through purchase and sell orders.
Al-Mukhaizim added that the market maker aims to continuously achieve a balance between supply and demand, reduce the gap between buying and selling prices, provide continuous and real prices as well as the necessary quantities in case of buying/selling, and exploring the equilibrium price by factoring in supply and demand.
Developed digital services
Al-Mukhaizim said that NIC always seeks to transform its business into fully-fledged digital business using artificial intelligence. The company is in the process of rolling out NICTRADE digital platform for trading in Boursa Kuwait, GCC and USA markets in addition to 80 global markets. This adds value to customer experience when utilizing advanced technology through the website or the mobile trading apps.
Al-Mukhaizim stated that the NICTRADE service enables customers to trade and invest in professional financial instruments, such as listed funds (ETFs), options contracts in US market (Options), real estate funds (REITs) and many financial instruments listed in international markets, in addition to the possibility of activating price change alerts or up-to-date news. This service also enables access to trading accounts and information about the market movement.
“Keeping pace with the digital transformation of business at the level of local and regional investment companies, NIC has launched the electronic portal service for customers through the company’s website. The innovative “Client Portal” platform will facilitate the digital investment process and enable customers to access all services and products in the easiest way, not to mention saving time and raising the level of automation, while achieving the company’s strategic goals in offering high quality services,” Al-Mukhaizim said.
He explained that National Investments Co. highlighted its business model that aims at acquiring customer satisfaction by providing products and services specifically designed to meet the requirements and needs of customers and achieve their short-term or long-term goals based on clear transparency standards and mutual agreement between customers and company officials about the levels of risk that are determined in advance. This enables NIC to gain solid reputation and places it among the major companies in Kuwait and the region.
Solid financial results
In parallel with launching several new products and services, NIC achieved great and unprecedented performance during the first half of 2021, as the company was able to achieve a net profit of KD 15.055 million and EPS of 18.87 fils.
In addition, National Investments Co. achieved KD 239.514 million of total assets, a remarkable growth of approximately 15% as compared to KD 208.19 million for the same period of last year. Shareholders’ equity attributable to the parent company witnessed a significant growth by about 19 percent, reaching KD 189.21 million at the end of the first half of this year, compared to KD 159.34 million for the same period of last year. It is worth noting that the company’s distribution of cash dividends to shareholders amounted to approximately KD 9 million for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2020.
Regarding the outstanding financial results, Al-Kukhaizim said that the Company’s fiduciary assets under management (AUM) as of the end of the first half of 2021 was KWD 1.1 billion, despite the repercussions and vulnerabilities covid-19 imposed on the region and the world. He pointed out that NIC maintained profits and reserves that are distributable amounting to KD 38.9 million, which constitute 48.76 percent of the capital.
Al-Mukhaizim stated that the financial results achieved during the first half of 2021 were positive with NIC successfully attracting many new investments in the sectors of infrastructure, credit, information technology and private equity. Also, the company started 2021 with strong investment operations which included a number of mergers and acquisitions for the benefit of its clients, sales and restructuring operations, as well as concluding contracts to provide general advisory services.
On the other hand, Al-Mukhaizim explained that NIC succeeded during 2021 in maintaining the distributions to its clients who invest in its commercial real estate investments business in UK and USA, while increasing the annual current return to 10% from 9% annually in its real estate investments located in Manchester, UK.
He added that NIC invested with a group of clients in two projects to develop logistics warehouses in Europe, specifically in Italy and Germany, whereby the first project, a warehouse located in Italy, was leased to FedEx. The second project in Germany is in the final stages of signing a leasing contract with one of the major companies in the logistics sector. The two projects are expected to achieve an annual return of 8.0% and 8.5% respectively, all of which will be distributed on a quarterly basis.
Al-Mukhaizim explained that as part of NIC’s expanded investment strategy of eying the technology sector, the company has recently succeeded in investing in the US-based (Pipe Technologies) company, which specializes in fast-growing FinTech, explaining that it is the first trading platform in the world for recurring revenues with an estimated value of roughly USD2 billion.
Remarkable performance of Funds
Meanwhile, the National Investments Co. announced that its investment funds successfully achieved record performance ratios during the first nine months of 2021, thanks to the sound approach and prudent performance of the fund management team and the extensive experience the company enjoys in managing equity funds.
Al-Mukhaizim said that the Al-Wataniya Investment Fund achieved a good performance during the first nine months of the year, with return of 25.35%, bringing the return since inception to 291.70%. He also added that Al-Darij Investment Fund (recorded a return of 20.82% during the same period) seeks to achieve the highest risk-based returns as it provides exposure to Sharia-compliant equities in Kuwait and the GCC.
He pointed out that Zajil Fund recorded a good performance amounting to 18.76%, during the first nine months of the year. The fund aims to invest primarily in listed and unlisted equities in the services and telecommunications sectors in Kuwait and the Arab region, which abide by Islamic Sharia.
On the level of Gulf funds, Al-Mukhaizim stated that Mawarid Fund for industrial and petroleum services has outperformed equity funds established in the State of Kuwait as it achieved a return of 37.23% during the first nine months 2021, the highest performance among funds.
Al-Mukhaizim said that NIC maintains its excellence and ability to compete to gain the confidence of the investment community locally and abroad, adding that the future bodes well with many achievements in light of the promising strategy of the company. Such global recognitions place more responsibilities on NIC to maintain outstanding performance levels.
He expressed his happiness for the great efforts NIC made in achieving this high performance, the positive growth that is always in line with the strategic plan, and the commitment to achieving the best results for clients. These have been achieved by supporting investment decisions with accurate research and investing in quality assets and the absolute support from the Board of Directors and Executive Management. Al-Mukhaizim stressed that this approach will continue in the future with utmost precision and efficiency to optimally meet all customers’ aspirations locally and regionally.
Thanks to the company’s tireless efforts and distinguished performance during 2021, NIC received 5 prestigious awards from major specialized international platforms. The annual awards in various fields of work and at different periods of time, are certificates of appreciation and praise from the largest and most international bodies following up on the performance of financial and investment institutions in the region and the world.
Along with many other awards the company wins annually in various fields of business, these awards confirm the success NIC achieved at various levels and represent a certificate of appreciation and praise from major international entities that assess the performance of financial and investment institutions in the region and the world.
Al-Mukhaizim said that NIC’s winning of the current and previous awards is a strong motivation towards enhancing its performance and achieving permanent success thanks to the tireless efforts and valuable contributions of all the company’s departments, which believe in the need to enhance work practices and raise them to the highest international levels.
He went on to explain that:” The awards reflect the superiority of NIC in innovation, achievement, strategy implementation, and progressive and inspiring changes that occur within the financial sector. They also confirm that the company is on the right track, and that it operates with institutional maturity and transparency that guarantee customer satisfaction, especially in light of the professionalism it applies in all its activities or through dealing with various regulatory and supervisory authorities.
Regarding the awards, NIC won the Best Asset Management Company of the Year, GCC 2021 from the leading financial platform Global Banking & Finance. The Award was given in recognition of NIC performance in asset management, being one of the largest regional companies in terms of the size of assets under management which reached KD 1.1 billion.
National Investments Company also won an international award for being the “Most Innovative Portfolio Management Company in Kuwait in 2021” by the global platform International Financial Awards. The award was granted based on figures, financial data, and approved growth rates in addition to internationally recognized technical standards to measure the steadiness and stability of the professional performance of the companies.
The third award was the Best Wealth Management Company in Kuwait for the year 2021, by UK-based Global Business Outlook platform, which is one of the most prominent specialized publications in the financial sector and the leading platform in recognizing and rewarding investment and financial institutions worldwide. The evaluation process is based on a wide range of criteria such as business volume, innovation, leadership, credit ratings, asset quality, volume of assets under management, annual profits, efficiency ratios, key performance indicators, distinctive services and innovative products.
This award reflects NIC’s commitment to providing the best services in wealth management. It also confirms the Company’s ability and its outstanding relationships with customers, and the long-term partnerships that depend on great confidence and prudence in wealth management at professional levels, providing integrated investment products to customers, along with provision of solutions and plans that help them achieve their various financial goals.
Al- Mukhaizim added that NIC has a proven track record of distinguished relations with customers and long-term partnerships built on confidence and prudence in wealth management, while providing integrated products, solutions and plans, and adopting novel approaches of investment in wealth management. During 2021, the company succeeded in attracting new capital from funds and investment portfolios customers approximating USD73.05 million.
Best Investment Management Award
NIC was also awarded the Best Investment Management Company in Kuwait for the year 2021, by the International Business Awards; the leading magazine in the world of business and financial investment, headquartered in Dubai, UAE. The award is an international recognition of the Company’s excellent and outstanding performance in the various investment services it provides in Kuwait, being one of the largest investment companies in the region, in terms of the volume of assets under management, the management of acquisitions and mergers, in addition to the various investment services it manages.
Moreover, National Investments Company bagged the “Fastest Growing Investment Company Award” in Kuwait for the year 2021, from the International Finance Awards. he selection for the award was based on a wide range of investment criteria set by financial and business experts, the most important of which are the number and size of deals, services and investment advisory provided, and efforts to cope with the market, in addition to the advanced innovation and the outstanding performance locally and internationally.
Al-Mukhaizim said that NIC`s obtaining this international recognition is evidence and an international recognition of the ability and efficiency of the company’s team in providing advanced and innovative investment services and products that are compatible with market conditions and challenges.
He added: “This award comes as a result of the completion of several successful banking transactions by NIC during the year and the professionalism and accuracy the company shows, especially in merger and acquisition advisory services, listing advisory, financial advisory and others. It also reflects the tireless efforts, continuous work, and in-depth understanding of our clients’ needs and investment requirements, as we believe that each client has unique requirements. Consequently, we follow the advisory method to find appropriate innovative solutions, not to mention the team’s keenness to meet these needs through specialized expertise and flexibility in adaptation with market variables in order to achieve the best value for their investments.”
Al-Mukhaizim also praised the promising trajectory NIC follows, which is in line with its strategic plan and future vision.
As part of its efforts to maintain its leading position among private sector companies at the humanitarian level and to consolidate its role as one of the largest investment companies in Kuwait, NIC maintains a proven track record of CSR. In this regard, the company intensified its strategic efforts as part of its annual program, by focusing on meeting the needs and requirements of those who need support and assistance out of social solidarity and its national and social responsibility sense. In cooperation with Al-Najat Charitable Society, NIC sponsored certain prominent and annual activities including sponsoring people memorizing the Holy Quran. It also sponsored various Ramadan projects in collaboration with Kuwait Food Bank.
Al-Mukhaizim indicated that NIC is committed to its role in society as part of a strategic plan prepared and implemented by the company, by participating in various fields of humanitarian, social and charitable work, especially through community contributions, raising awareness and community participation.
He added that NIC has made a qualitative leap in recent years in its social plans, as it considers this a duty dictated by its national sense to contribute to economic development which has a direct and effective impact on the development and growth of society.
Al-Mukhaizim stressed that the mission and vision of NIC require it to maintain playing its vital and effective role in various sectors in Kuwait, GCC and international markets, continuing its efforts in developing the resources of its customers by providing the best investment opportunities that achieve the highest returns, as well as maintaining work system and institutional strategy to provide positive performance, create new paths for growth, seize distinguished opportunities, and aspire towards leadership.