National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the country's biggest bank, posted on Saturday a first quarter net profit of $264 million, up 20 percent from the same period a year ago.
The lender posted a net profit of 63.5 million Kuwaiti dinars ($221.1 million) in the first quarter of 2009.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected NBK's first-quarter net profit to range between 75 million and 87 million dinars.
As of the end of March, NBK Group's total assets were up 5.9 percent to $44.1 billion, whereas total shareholders' equity increased by 17.4 percent to $6.2 billion, the company said in a statement.
"NBK's solid performance in the first quarter of 2010 demonstrates our sound financial position," Ibrahim Dabdoub, the group's chief executive said in the statement. "The 20 percent growth achieved in net profits is another strong indicator of our ability to consistently manage our operations both inside and outside Kuwait profitably," he added.
Dabdoub also said the company continued to benefit from its expansions in the Middle East, particularly in Egypt and Qatar.
NBK has raised its stake in Islamic lender Boubyan Bank to 47 percent last week, bourse data showed.
The bank also said last week it was considering buying a stake in Garanti Bank as Turkey was one of the emerging world's most attractive banking sectors. (Reuters)For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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