Kuwait's NBK upbeat despite Q3 profit fall

Lender says optimistic about regional expansion after minor decline in net profit
Kuwait's NBK upbeat despite Q3 profit fall
NBK reported a third-quarter net profit of KD78.9m
By Reuters
Wed 12 Oct 2011 03:36 PM

National Bank of Kuwait, the Gulf state's largest bank, beat forecasts with a 0.5 percent fall in third-quarter net profit and said it was optimistic about its regional expansion strategy.

"NBK's regional plans remain generally intact. We have tightened our levels of control and risk management in light of the ongoing operating challenges in the Arab world," chief executive Ibrahim Dabdoub said on Wednesday.

NBK reported a third-quarter net profit of KD78.9m ($286m) on Wednesday, compared with a forecast for KD74.7m. Net profit for the nine-month period rose 0.5 percent to KD225.6m.

The lender, which operates 177 branches worldwide, was delaying expansion due to regional unrest in the Gulf Arab region, Dabdoub had said in March.

Last month, Goldman Sachs cut its rating on NBK saying low loan growth due to delays in implementing development projects could affect the lender in the near term.

NBK shares were up 1.9 percent at 0715 GMT. They have fallen 17.5 percent this year, according to Reuters data.

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