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Tue 12 Oct 2010 09:39 PM

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National Bank of Kuwait Q3 net profit up 5.7%

Bank expects further regional growth as its expansion strategy continues to pay off

National Bank of Kuwait Q3 net profit up 5.7%
EXPANSION STRATEGY: The National Bank of Kuwaits expansion strategy paid off as its Q3 net profit rose by 5.7%

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), the country's largest bank, posted a 5.7 percent rise in third quarter net profit on Tuesday, exceeding estimates as its foreign expansion strategy reaped rewards.

Net income rose to $282.3 million in the quarter, according to Reuters calculations, from $267 million a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected quarterly net profit between $247.5 million and $258.1 million.

The lender did not provide quarterly figures, which Reuters calculated based on previous financial data.

Ibrahim Dabdoub, NBK's chief executive, said the bank's "profit generation capacity remained very strong as a result of the bank's conservative approach".

He said the bank's expansion strategy continued to pay off and the lender expected further growth regionally.

Dabdoub added: "With our income sources becoming increasingly diversified, regional and international operations contributed more than 20 percent to the group's net profits so far this year."

He said NBK was pushing ahead with plans to launch operations in Syria and was keen on investing more in Turkey.

Naser al Nafisi, general manager of Al Joman Center for Economic Consultancy, said the results were "unsurprising".

The bank did not say if it booked any provisions in the third quarter. Nafisi said NBK "usually takes minimum provisions because as they say their clients are good and they don't need provisions."

In the second quarter, the bank took $83.5 million in provisions, Dabdoub told Al Arabiya television in In a statement, NBK said net profit in the nine months to Sept 30 came in at $795.7 million.

Total assets in the nine months to Sept 30 rose to $44 billion from $43 billion in the year earlier period. Shareholders' equity advanced to $7 billion from $6.1 billion.

NBK's shares traded flat at 1.42 dinars on Tuesday. The results were released after the market closed. (Reuters)

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