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Tue 19 Oct 2010 03:52 AM

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Masraf al Rayan Q3 profit jumps 43%

Growth has been driven by the bank's rapidly expanding customer base

Masraf al Rayan Q3 profit jumps 43%
PROFIT JUMP: Qatars Masraf Al Rayan announced a Q3 profit jump of 43%, driven by a rise in its customer base (Getty Images)

Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar's fourth biggest lender by market value, saw net profit jump 43 percent in the third quarter, driven by a rise in its customer base as the lender expands its branch network.

Third quarter net profit rose to 306.5 million riyals ($84.3 million) from $58.77 million in the same period a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations.

"This growth has been driven by the bank's rapidly expanding customer base," chief executive Adel Mustafawi said in a statement.

Net profit in the nine months to end September rose 52 percent to $250.3 million, the bank said in the statement.

Masraf Al Rayan posted a first half net profit of $116.17 million.

Profit increase in the third quarter was driven by core banking activities, not investments, Mustafawi told Reuters in a phone interview.

He said: "We are expecting the same growth in the fourth quarter in terms of assets. We are finalising a few deals now and that will be reflected in the fourth quarter results. We are still focused on growing organically. We like the UAE, Qatar, Saudi, and Oman."

When asked if the company is arranging any sukuk or initial public offerings he said: "Demand in the equity market has recovered, especially in Qatar. We are going to be looking at this because appetite is there, mainly in Qatar."

In March, Qatar's central bank said banks would be allowed to diversify their revenue base and bolster trading income by buying shares of listed companies on the bourse and re-entering brokerage operations.

Masraf Al Rayan said in March it had launched a Gulf wide fund to manage up to $1.1 billion and focus on Gulf equities, as well as fixed income instruments.

Markets closed before the the lender announced its financial results, its shares ending unchanged from the previous day at 15.90 riyals. (Reuters)