Bank Muscat Q2 profit jumps 22pc
Muscat, July 17, 2014
Bank Muscat, Oman's largest lender, posted a 22.3 percent increase in its second-quarter net profit on Thursday, beating analysts' estimates as it booked a one-off gain from the merger of its Bahraini affiliate.
The bank made a quarterly profit of 46.6 million rials ($121 million) in the three months to June 30 compared to 38.1 million rials in the corresponding period of 2013, according to Reuters calculations based on financial statements.
Six analysts polled by Reuters had, on average, forecast a second-quarter profit of 38.9 million rials.
Helping to boost its earnings was a 9.48 million rial investment gain it booked from the merger between Bahraini lenders Al Salam Bank and BMI Bank, in which Bank Muscat had owned 49 percent prior to the tie-up.
Overall non-interest income in the second quarter, under which the investment gain was classified, jumped 56 percent year-on-year in the second quarter to 42.8 million rials, according to Reuters calculations.
Net profit for the first half of 2014 was 86.4 million rials, up from 63.1 million rials in the opening half of last year, a filing to the sultanate's bourse said.
Bank Muscat's profit in the same period last year was hampered by a 15 million rial provision it was forced to take after being caught up in one of the biggest-ever cyber fraud cases - a provision reversed in full-year numbers after the cash was recouped through its insurers.
Loans and advances rose 11.8 percent year-on-year to 6.47 billion rials at the end of June, while deposits increased 11.1 percent over the same timeframe to 6.5 billion rials.
Bank Muscat said last month it was considering a sale of its brokerage unit as one of several "strategic options" for the business. - Reuters