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Thu 17 Jul 2014 02:08 PM

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Bank Muscat Q2 profit jumps 22%, boosted by Bahrain merger

Oman's largest lender says it booked a one-off gain from merger with its Bahraini affiliate

Bank Muscat Q2 profit jumps 22%, boosted by Bahrain merger

Bank Muscat, Oman's largest lender, posted a 22.3 percent increase in its second-quarter net profit on Thursday, beating analysts' estimates as it booked a one-off gain from the merger of its Bahraini affiliate.

The bank made a quarterly profit of OR46.6 million ($121 million) in the three months to June 30 compared to OR38.1 million in the corresponding period of 2013, according to Reuters calculations based on financial statements.

Six analysts polled by Reuters had, on average, forecast a second-quarter profit of OR38.9 million.

Helping to boost its earnings was a OR9.48 million investment gain it booked from the merger between Bahraini lenders Al Salam Bank and BMI Bank, in which Bank Muscat had owned 49 percent prior to the tie-up.

Overall non-interest income in the second quarter, under which the investment gain was classified, jumped 56 percent year-on-year in the second quarter to OR42.8 million, according to Reuters calculations.

Net profit for the first half of 2014 was OR86.4 million, up from OR63.1 million in the opening half of last year, a filing to the sultanate's bourse said.

Bank Muscat's profit in the same period last year was hampered by a OR15 million provision it was forced to take after being caught up in one of the biggest-ever cyber fraud cases - a provision reversed in full-year numbers after the cash was recouped through its insurers.

Loans and advances rose 11.8 percent year-on-year to OR6.47 billion at the end of June, while deposits increased 11.1 percent over the same timeframe to OR6.5 billion.

Bank Muscat said last month it was considering a sale of its brokerage unit as one of several "strategic options" for the business.

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