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Sun 11 Nov 2012 05:00 PM

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Al Baraka Banking Group posts 12% profit rise in Q3

Bahraini lender sees net profit rise to US$63m during quarter from US$56m a year ago

Al Baraka Banking Group posts 12% profit rise in Q3

Bahrain-based Islamic lender Al Baraka Banking Group posted a 12 percent rise in third-quarter net profit, the bank said on Sunday, boosted by increased lending activity.

The bank, which has operations across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, made a net profit of US$63m for the third quarter, compared with US$56m in the same period of 2011, it said in a statement.

Net profit attributable to equity holders rose to US$36m for the third quarter, compared with US$33m in the same period last year.

The rise was helped by an increase in total operating income, which rose to US$231m in the quarter, from US$182m during the same period last year, a 30 percent increase.

Net profit for the first nine months of the year was US$183m, a 10.3 percent increase versus the corresponding period of 2011.

Net attributable profit for the first nine months of the year was US$107m, a 10 percent increase versus the corresponding period of 2011.

Operating expenses increased by 17 percent due to branch network expansion and expenses in IT and human resources.

"We expect that total branches of the Group's units will exceed 500 branches during the coming three years," said Adnan Ahmed Yousif, chief executive of Al Baraka, in the statement.

Subsidiary units in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and South Africa continued their branch expansion in the first nine months of the year and this had a direct impact on growing the deposit base and financing portfolios, he added.

The bank is also preparing to expand its operations in Libya, where it currently has a representative office.

Total assets for the group stood at US$18.4bn at the end of September, up 7 percent on the end of 2011. Customer deposits grew by 7 percent in the same period, to US$15.7bn.

Al Baraka is aiming for 15 percent growth in net profit in 2012, as well as acquiring a 75 percent stake in an unlisted Indonesian bank this year, Yousif told Reuters in an interview in March.

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