Kuwait's NBK reports 35% fall in Q3 net profit

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National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the Gulf Arab state's largest lender, reported a 35.3 percent fall in its third-quarter net profit on Wednesday, Reuters calculations show, mainly due to a one-off gain recorded in the year-ago period.

Net profit for the three months to the end of September 30 was KD70m ($248.4 million), compared with KD108.1m in the corresponding period in 2012, Reuters calculated from the bank's previous financial statements.

The profit slightly missed the average estimates of six analysts who had predicted a quarterly profit of KD72.3m.

NBK's nine-month net profit was KD198.6m compared with KD228.9m a year ago, it said in an emailed statement.

The lender recognised exceptional gains of $288 million during the year-ago period because of the consolidation of results of Boubyan Bank, it said in the statement. Excluding the gain, net profit for the nine-month period rose 34.7 percent, NBK said. It did not provide quarterly figures.

The domestic operating environment continues to improve and the overall outlook is more positive, NBK's long-serving Chief Executive Ibrahim Dabdoub said in a statement.

"We have started witnessing some acceleration in the tendering, award and execution of some of the large projects as the government proves determined to advance the execution of the development plan," Dadboub said.

Kuwait's 30 billion dinar economic development plan, announced in late 2010, has been delayed by political infighting and chronic bureaucracy.

A more stable political environment since late last year had fuelled hopes that Kuwait will push ahead with huge infrastructure projects in the plan, to the benefit of local companies.

NBK's loans and advances by the end of September reached KD10.5bn, up 9.3 percent from year-ago period and customer deposits reached KD10bn, up 16 percent year-on-year, the lender said.

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