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National Bank of Oman Q4 net falls 16pc

Muscat, January 23, 2011

Fourth-quarter net profit at National Bank of Oman, the sultanate's second-largest lender by assets, dropped 16 per cent, Reuters calculations showed on Sunday.

The bank made a quarterly net profit of 5.5 million rials ($14.3 million), Reuters calculated, compared with 6.54 million rials in the same period in 2009.

Analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average fourth quarter profit of 7.6 million rials.

'In 2010, we focused on streamlining our operation, in laying a strong foundation for growth in 2011 and beyond,' Salaam Al Shaksy, NBO's chief executive, told Reuters.

'Overall, a weak set of results. We maintain our Neutral rating, but we will be reviewing our estimates once detailed results are released,' investment bank EFG-Hermes said in a research note.

Reuters calculated quarterly profit from previous financial statements. The bank reported net profit of 21.7 million rials in the nine months to Sept. 30 last year.

NBO reported a full-year net profit of 27.2 million rials, it said in a bourse statement on Sunday.

Net loans and advances in 2010 were almost flat from the previous year at 1.36 billion rials, while customer deposits rose 5.1 per cent, the statement said.

Last week, Bank Muscat, Oman's largest lender by market value, beat analyst forecasts and returned to profit in the fourth quarter of 2010, benefiting from a decrease in impairments and growth in loans and deposits.-Reuters




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