National Bank of Oman, the sultanate’s fourth-largest lender by market capitalisation, posted a 47.8 per cent rise jump in fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday, beating analysts’ expectations.
The lender made a net profit of OMR10.2 million ($26.5 million) in the final three months of 2012, according to Reuters calculations based on previous financial statements, up from OMR6.9 million in the same period in 2011.
Four analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average fourth-quarter profit of OMR8.7 million.
Full-year profits stood at OMR40.7 million, climbing 19 per cent on the previous year’s figure of OMR34.2 million, a statement to the Muscat stock exchange said.
The bank was helped by a 15-per cent rise in net interest income, which increased to OMR67.2 million in 2012.
Loans and advances grew by 14 per cent in 2012, hitting OMR1.91 billion against OMR1.67 billion at the end of 2011.
Customer deposits rose 18 per cent year-on-year, standing at OMR1.89 billion against OMR1.6 billion at the end of 2011. Total assets gained 14 per cent in the same period to OMR2.54 billion at the end of 2012.
Fitch Ratings affirmed NBO’s BBB+ rating in November, citing improving profitability, liquidity and asset quality on account of the bank’s new strategy.
However, it noted the bank’s weakening capital position – its core capital ratio declined 0.5 per cent in the first nine months of 2012 to 12.8 per cent on the back of strong growth – at a time when other Omani banks are mulling rights issues.
NBO shares closed 0.7 per cent lower on the Muscat bourse Sunday.