National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the Gulf Arab state's largest commercial lender, reported a 15.6 percent drop in third-quarter net profit on Wednesday.
The bank made a net profit of KD59.1 million ($204.7 million) in the three months to the end of September, down from KD70.1 million a year ago, a bourse filing said.
Five analysts polled by Reuters, on average, forecast NBK to post a net profit of KD78.95 million in the third quarter.
An 8.3 percent rise in third-quarter operating profit suggests provisions - or money set aside to cover potential bad loans - may have hit earnings.
"NBK's conservative management practices and its strong financial position helped the bank sustain its profitability and resilient market position," Nasser al-Sayer, chairman of NBK, said in the statement.
The decline in third-quarter net profit came despite the bank posting a 7.8 percent increase in its operating revenue versus the same quarter of 2013.
Aiding this increase was a 10.2 percent year-on-year gain in total loans and advances, which stood at KD11.6 billion on September 30.
Deposits rose 7.5 percent to KD10.8 billion over the same time period.
NBK's fourth-quarter net profit is expected to be boosted significantly after it sold a 30 percent stake in International Bank of Qatar at the beginning of October. It said it would book a gain of KD25 million on the transaction.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.