Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest lender, posted a 22.3 per cent 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 OMR46.6 million ($121 million) in the three months to June 30 compared to OMR38.1 million 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 OMR38.9 million.
Helping to boost its earnings was a OMR9.48 million investment gain it booked from the merger between Bahraini lenders Al Salam Bank and BMI Bank, in which Bank Muscat had owned 49 per cent prior to the tie-up.
Overall non-interest income in the second quarter, under which the investment gain was classified, jumped 56 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter to OMR42.8 million, according to Reuters calculations.
Net profit for the first half of 2014 was OMR86.4 million, up from OMR63.1 million 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 per cent year-on-year to OMR6.47 billion at the end of June, while deposits increased 11.1 per cent over the same timeframe to OMR6.5 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.