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NBK registers net profit of $706m

KUWAIT CITY: A $66 million compensation payment to victims of US swindler Bernard Madoff and other one-off charges dented nine-month net profit at National Bank of Kuwait, the country's biggest bank yesterday said.

NBK reported a net profit of 201.5m Kuwaiti dinars ($706m) for the nine months to September 30, compared with 243.7m dinars in the same period last year.

The bank said net profit in the third quarter was 75.5m dinars ($264.4m), up 10 per cent from the year-prior period.

Coast Investment had forecast third quarter net profit of 68.24m dinars.

In addition to the Madoff reimbursement, the bank also booked unrealised losses of $33m in a local investment portfolio and booked a further $66m in "voluntary judgemental" loan loss provisions. .

"The bank posted good profits from its units in Egypt and Qatar, and NBK had a conservative policy for booking provisions in the first two quarters, and now the provisions are decreasing," said Mustafa Behbahani, a director at Kuwait's Gulf Consulting.

NBK chief executive Ibrahim Dabdoub said that he hoped the lender would meet its this year's net profit goal of 255m dinars.

Last month, the bank raised its stake in Islamic lender Boubyan Bank to 40pc, as it seeks to boost its Sharia-compliant business.

"The acquisition of a 40pc stake in Boubyan will strengthen further the bank's local market position," Dabdoub said.

NBK said its operating income rose to $1.4 billion in the first nine months from $1.37bn a year earlier.

Total assets were 12.2bn dinars at the end of the first nine months, while shareholder equity stood at 1.7bn dinars.



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