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Sun 17 Apr 2011 01:07 PM

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Kuwait's NBK Q1 net profit rises 5.8%, shares fall

Lender reports net profit of KD80.7m ($291.8m), up from KD76.3m in the prior-year period

Kuwait's NBK Q1 net profit rises 5.8%, shares fall
National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the countrys biggest lender, reported a small estimate-beating increase in first-quarter profit

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the country's biggest lender, reported a small estimate-beating increase in first-quarter profit on Sunday, but shares fell after news that a prominent board member had died.

The bank reported a net profit of KD80.7m ($291.8m) in a statement to the bourse, up from KD76.3m in the prior-year period, an increase of 5.8 percent.

But news that Nasser Al Kharafi, the chairman of Kuwaiti conglomerate Al Kharafi Group, and an NBK board member according to the bank's website, weighed on shares, which were trading 1.7 percent lower at 0628 GMT. The stock had fallen over 3 percent on opening.

The broader index KWSE was trading 0.5 percent lower.

Analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average first quarter profit of KD74.8m.

In March, Chief Executive Ibrahim Dabdoub said the bank was delaying expansion plans due to regional unrest but said the company was eyeing loan growth of between 10 and 15 percent in 2011.