National Bank of Kuwait reported a 19 percent rise in second-quarter net profit on Tuesday, missing analysts' estimates, but the Gulf Arab state's largest lender was upbeat on the outlook for the local economy.
Net profit was KD47.2m ($165.7m) in the three months to the end of June, compared to KD39.8m a year ago. Six analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted KD79m of net profit on average.
The economic outlook has been improving domestically, chief executive Ibrahim Dabdoub said in a statement.
A KD30bn economic development plan, announced in late 2010, has been delayed by disagreements between the cabinet and parliament, as well as by bureaucracy. But a more stable political environment since late last year has fuelled hopes that the OPEC state will push ahead with huge infrastructure projects in the plan, to the benefit of Kuwaiti companies.
"We have started witnessing some acceleration in the tendering, award and execution of some of the large projects," Dabdoub said.
"During the second quarter NBK led several large financing transactions in the Kuwaiti market relating to public and private sector projects, an indication of the overall improvement in the economic outlook and business sentiment."
Parliamentary elections are set for Saturday after the Constitutional Court found fault with the process leading up to the last elections in December and ordered a new vote. Most prominent opposition politicians are boycotting the poll, suggesting those elected may be supportive of government development plans.
At the end of the second quarter, NBK's total assets were KD17.9bn, up 25 percent from the same time a year ago. Current liabilities were KD15bn compared to KD11.5bn a year earlier.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.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.