Oman's NBO Q4 net falls 16%, misses estimates

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PROFIT RESULTS NBO reported a full-year net profit of $70.62m (Bloomberg Images)

PROFIT RESULTS NBO reported a full-year net profit of $70.62m (Bloomberg Images)

Fourth-quarter net profit at National Bank of Oman, the sultanate's second-largest lender by assets, dropped sixteen percent, Reuters calculations showed on Sunday.

The bank made a quarterly net profit of OMR5.5m ($14.3m), Reuters calculated, compared with OMR6.54m ($16.98m)  in the same period in 2009.

Analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average fourth quarter profit of OMR7.6m ($19.73m).

"In 2010, we focused on streamlining our operation, in laying a strong foundation for growth in 2011 and beyond," Salaam Al Shaksy, NBO's chief executive, told Reuters.

"Overall, a weak set of results. We maintain our Neutral rating, but we will be reviewing our estimates once detailed results are released," investment bank EFG-Hermes said in a research note.

Reuters calculated quarterly profit from previous financial statements. The bank reported net profit of OMR21.7m ($56.34m) in the nine months to September 30 last year.

NBO reported a full-year net profit of OMR27.2m ($70.62m), it said in a bourse statement on Sunday.

Net loans and advances in 2010 were almost flat from the previous year at OMR1.36bn ($3.53bn), while customer deposits rose 5.1 percent, the statement said.

Last week, Bank Muscat, Oman's largest lender by market value, beat analysts' forecasts and returned to profit in the fourth quarter of 2010, benefiting from a decrease in impairments and growth in loans and deposits.

NBO shares closed 0.9 percent higher on the Muscat bourse prior to the results.

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