By Andy Sambidge
Global Investment House report says Oman, Kuwait banks buck trend as provisions rise
Banks in the Gulf region saw provisions for non performing loans fall by 15 percent in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in the previous year, Global Investment House has said in a new report.
Its said provisions were lower for banks under its coverage in all GCC countries except for Oman and Kuwait.
It said provisions taken by Omani banks doubled in Q2 while Kuwait banks saw increases by four percent.
Global said Saudi Arabian banks stood out with provisions dropping to half of what they used to be while the UAE and Qatar saw a decline of 9-10 percent.
Its report added that the substantial rise in provisions for Omani banks was led by its two largest banks, Bank Muscat and NBO, while the remaining either saw declines in provisions or contributed little to the increase.
Global's report also said that GCC banking profitability witnessed a rise of 25 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2011.
It noted that GCC banks under its coverage saw profits rising four percent compared to the first quarter of this year.
"The UAE and Qatar stood out in terms of highest profit growth achieved year-on-year during the quarter while Oman was the only country that witnessed a decline," the report added.
On an aggregate level, GCC banks witnessed a healthy growth in the net interest income (up seven percent) and exhibited a strong rise in non-interest income (up 23 percent), Global said.