National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) reported a 46.4 per cent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Tuesday, but fell short of analyst forecasts after it failed to book a gain from its sale of a stake in International Bank of Qatar (IBQ).
The Gulf Arab state’s largest commercial lender sold a 30 per cent stake in the Qatari bank at the beginning of October, saying at the time it would book a gain of KD25 million ($85 million) on the sale in its 2014 accounts.
But NBK said in its financial report the deal had yet to be recognised in its income statement, adding the sale would be concluded after completion of “procedural formalities”.
Net profit was KD57.9 million in the three months ended December, compared with KD39.6 million in the same period a year earlier, according to the financial statement.
EFG Hermes had forecast a net profit of KD60.2 million in the period, while Global Investment House had forecast KD88.3 million.
The results were in line with Global Investment House’s expectations if the forecast gain from the IBQ sale was removed, said Naveed Ahmed, senior manager of research at Global.
NBK sold its stake in IBQ to an unspecified group of Qataris after it was unable to secure a controlling stake in the unlisted bank.
NBK’s fourth-quarter earnings were boosted by a 2.8 per cent rise in net interest income to KD103.8 million from the same period a year earlier. Net fees and commission reached KD30.7 million, up 12.5 per cent.
Net profit for 2014 was KD261.8 million, up 10 per cent year on year, the bank added.
The bank also said its board had recommended a cash dividend of 30 fils per share and five bonus shares for every 100 currently held for 2014. That was in line with the dividend paid out for 2013.