By Daliah Merzaban
National Bank of Oman makes second-biggest quarterly profit on boosted lending, fee income.
National Bank of Oman(NBO) made its second-biggest quarterly profit ever in the second quarter as it boosted lending and fee income, but the profit growth of 21.4 percent missed two analysts' forecasts.
Oman's second-biggest bank by market value earned 11.65 million rials ($30.27 million) in the three months to June 30, compared with 9.59 million rials a year earlier, Reuters calculated based on first-half data provided by the bank.
The quarterly profit missed forecasts of 12.14 million rials and 12.50 million rials in a Reuters net profit survey last month.
"We will put in place strategies and processes that will ensure that income growth remains steady and sustainable," NBO said in a statement on the Oman bourse website.
NBO made a profit of 22.6 million rials in the first six months of the year, up 18 percent from the year earlier.
Banks in the world's biggest oil-exporting region are expanding their businesses, buoyed by an economic boom driven by a near seven-fold rise in oil prices since 2002.
Oman's $40.3 billion economy is expected to grow 36 percent this year in nominal terms, according to estimates of ING.
NBO's net interest income rose 13 percent to 22.2 million rials in the first half, while non-interest income soared to 19 million rials, it said, without giving a quarterly breakdown.
Recovery of bad debt helped reduce non-performing loans to 4.9 percent of total loans, the bank added.
Net loans and advances in the six-month period rose to 1.2 billion rials from 907 million rials at the end of December, while deposits grew to 1.2 billion rials from 936 million rials, the bank said.
NBO posted a net profit of 9.59 million rials in the second quarter of 2007, and 10.95 million rials in the first quarter of this year.
Shares of the lender, which fell 0.93 percent on Thursday ahead of the earnings release, are up about 17 percent this year. (Reuters)