Kuwait's NBK sees Q1 net profit up 15% on Qatar stake sale

National Bank of Kuwait says it made nearly $320m net profit in three months to March 31
Kuwait's NBK sees Q1 net profit up 15% on Qatar stake sale
By Reuters
Tue 14 Apr 2015 01:47 PM

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the Gulf Arab state's largest commercial lender, reported a 15 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, according to a bourse filing on Tuesday, boosted by income from the sale of its stake in a Qatari bank.

Net profit was 96.52 million dinars ($319.5 million) in the three months ended March, compared with 83.94 million dinars a year ago, the statement said.

Four analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast NBK would post a net profit of 89.86 million dinars.

The bank cited the increase in net investment income, which shot up to 30.2 million dinars from 3.5 million dinars in the corresponding period of 2014, as helping the profit increase, adding much of the gain came from sale proceeds from an equity associate, without elaborating.

NBK said in October it sold its 30 percent stake in unlisted International Bank of Qatar for 155 million dinars, adding it would book a profit of 25 million dinars in its 2014 accounts from the deal -- though this did not materialise in its fourth-quarter earnings statement.

Also boosting NBK's first-quarter profit was an 8.8 percent increase in net interest income to 106.5 million dinars, which the bank attributed to higher business volumes.

In common with several other Gulf banks, NBK has sought to bolster its capital in recent weeks. Earlier this month, it launched a $700 bond, which will enhance its Tier 1 -- or core -- capital.

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