Oman's Bank Muscat Q4 net profit rises 15.1%

The bank made a quarterly net profit of US$90.9m in the three months to December 31

Bank Muscat, Oman's largest lender, posted a 15.1 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profit on Thursday, Reuters calculations show, in line with the average estimate of analysts.

The bank made a quarterly net profit of OMR35m(US$90.9m) in the three months to December 31 compared with OMR30.4m in the prior-year period, Reuters calculated from previous financial statements.

Six analysts polled by Reuters had on average estimated a fourth-quarter profit of OMR35m.

Full-year net profits for the bank stood at OMR139.2m, a 18.5 percent improvement on the OMR117.5m it reported for 2011, a statement to the Omani bourse said.

The results were boosted by a 13.5 percent increase in non-interest income, which rose to OMR93.2m, and a 8.6 percent gain in net interest income, which advanced to OMR230.4m.

Impairments for the final three-month period of 2012 stood at OMR17m, Reuters calculated, taking them to OMR57.9m for the full year. This was up 11.1 and 3.2 percent respectively on the corresponding period of 2011.

Loans and advances rose to OMR5.6bn at the end of 2012, up 16.2 percent from OMR4.82bn at the same point in 2011.

Deposits increased 10.9 percent in 2012, the bank said, rising to OMR5.38bn from OMR4.85bn at the end of 2011.

Earlier this week, Bank Muscat said it had received a licence from the country's central bank to commence Islamic banking operations under its Meethaq Islamic Banking brand.

Bank Muscat shares rose 0.7 percent in early Muscat trade.

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