Oman's Bank Muscat Posts 8.9% Rise In Q1 Profit, Beats Forecasts - Gulf Business
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Oman’s Bank Muscat Posts 8.9% Rise In Q1 Profit, Beats Forecasts

Oman’s Bank Muscat Posts 8.9% Rise In Q1 Profit, Beats Forecasts

The bank made a profit of OMR43.3 million ($112.5 million) in the first quarter of 2015.

Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest lender, posted an 8.9 percent increase in its first-quarter net profit on Tuesday, beating analysts’ forecasts, as fee income swelled.

The bank made a profit of OMR43.3 million ($112.5 million) in the period ending March 31, compared to OMR39.8 a year earlier, it said in a bourse statement.

Three analysts polled by Reuters, on average, forecast a first-quarter profit of OMR38.4 million.

The profit increase boosted Bank Muscat’s shares, which closed 0.4 per cent higher against a decline of the same amount in the wider Oman bourse.

Higher operating income, driven by stronger-than-forecast fee income, was a key reason for the profit jump, said NBK Capital in a research note.

Fee income reached OMR36.2 million during the quarter, up 20.1 per cent year on year.

Many Gulf banks have fallen back on fees from products like credit cards and treasury sales in recent quarters as a way to offset lower revenues from lending because of low interest rates.

Net loans and advances, including the Islamic lending portfolio, rose by 9.9 per cent year on year to OMR6.9 billion at the end of March, the statement said.

Like other Gulf banks, Bank Muscat has considered resorting to bond markets in recent months as a way to raise funds. Shareholders approved plans in March for a OMR500 million sukuk programme that will be issued in various tranches.

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