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Sun 17 Apr 2011 05:29 PM

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Bahrain's AUB Q1 profit climbs 17.7%

Net profit attributable to shareholders of $77.3m;net interest income climbs 16% to $136.7m

Bahrain's AUB Q1 profit climbs 17.7%
AUB RESULTS: Ahli United Bank, Bahrains largest bank, posted on Sunday a 17.7 percent rise in first-quarter net profit (Getty Images)

Ahli United Bank, Bahrain's largest bank, posted on Sunday a 17.7 percent rise in first-quarter net profit amid an increase in net interest income and gains in associate banks in Qatar and Oman.

The bank said in a statement net profit attributable to shareholders in the quarter was $77.3m, compared with $65.7m in the year-earlier quarter. Overall net profit was $81.6m in the quarter.

Net interest income climbed to $136.7m, up 16.3 percent from a year ago. Associate banks contributed $15.9m to profits in the first quarter, the bank said in a bourse statement. Bahrain's economy was hit during the first-quarter with the country's worst sectarian unrest since the 1990s during which its economy ground to a halt for several days and investor sentiment collapsed.

"We remain cautious amidst the current regional developments and are confident that the bank is well positioned to meet any emerging challenges," said Chairman Fahad Al Rajaan in the statement.

AUB was the first major bank to report earnings since the unrest, but made no reference to how it was impacted. The bank said it has adopted a cautious lending stance in a challenging regional business environment.