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NBK Gains on Most Trading in 3 Years After Profit: Kuwait Mover

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- National Bank of Kuwait gained on the biggest trading volume in almost three years after the country’s largest lender reported first-quarter profit that beat estimates and said this year’s outlook is “promising”.

More than 38 million of the bank’s shares were traded, 26 times the three-month daily average and the most since August 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The bank known as NBK rose 1.1 percent to 940 fils at the close in Kuwait. The benchmark Kuwait SE Price Index fell 0.1 percent.

NBK advanced for the first time in three days after the bank reported late yesterdayprofit of 81.3 million dinars ($285 million), exceeding the 79.5 million-dinar estimate of four analysts compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the third quarter in a row it has topped expectations, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Kuwaiti banks are poised to benefit as the government revives a $110 billion spending plan that may spur corporate lending, according to Standard & Poor’s said last month.

“The stock is active today and is trading on huge volumes after it reported first-quarter figures,” said Fadi Al Said, a senior fund manager at ING Investment Management in Dubai.

Government plans to accelerate implementation of projects is positive for the bank, Chief Executive Officer Ibrahim Dabdoub said in a statement yesterday. The lender’s full-year profit is set to rise 3 percent, the fastest since 2010, the average estimate of five analysts compiled by Bloomberg shows.

NBK’s shares may be fairly valued, according to Al Said. Six analysts have a hold recommendation on the shares while two recommend selling them, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock gained 2.8 percent this year, underperforming a 19 percent jump in Kuwait’s gauge.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sherine El Madany in Dubai at selmadany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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