National Bank of Kuwait Net Falls as One-Off Gain Not Repeated

National Bank of Kuwait SAK, the country’s biggest lender, posted a 35 percent decline in third-quarter profit after earnings last year were boosted by a one-time gain because of the consolidation of Boubyan Bank.

Net income fell to 70.1 million dinars ($248.7 million) from 108.1 million dinars a year earlier, the bank said today. Beltone Financial and EFG-Hermes Holding SAE estimated earnings of 64 million dinars and 85 million dinars, respectively. Total assets rose 16 percent to 19 billion dinars at end September.

The global credit crisis weakened lending and investment banking in the Middle East, pushing up loan-loss provisions and causing a drop in the value of investments. Corporate lending in Kuwait has lagged its peers in the Gulf Cooperation Council as political instability slowed a $110 billion development plan to diversify the oil-reliant economy and modernize the nation.

“We have started witnessing some acceleration in the tendering, award and execution of some of the large projects as the government proves determined to advance the execution of the development plan,” Chief Executive Officer Ibrahim Dabdoub said today in an e-mailed statement. The outlook “is turning more positive,” he said.

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