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Bank Muscat Q1 net profit rises 1.1pc

Middle East Business

Bank Muscat, Oman's largest lender, posted a 1.1 percent increase in first-quarter net profit on Thursday, according to a bourse statement, on the back of rising income from loans, fees and commission.

The bank made a profit of RO43.8 million ($113.8 million) in the three-month period ending Mar. 31, up from RO43.3 million a year earlier.

EFG Hermes forecast the bank would make a quarterly profit of RO45.24 million, while Gulf Baader Capital Markets forecast a profit of RO42.80 million over the same period.

Net interest income and non-interest income both jumped by 10.5 percent over the period, rising to RO68.04 million and Ro40 million, respectively.

Loans and advances rose 6.9 percent year on year to stand at RO6.92 billion on March 31, while deposits increased 7 percent over the same timeframe to RO6.97 billion.

Bank Muscat said on April 5 that it had received all regulatory approvals to open a representative office in Iran, making it one of the first foreign financial firms to establish a presence in the country since the international sanctions, imposed over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme, were lifted in January.

The lender is speaking to a small group of banks about raising a three-year loan worth as much as $300 million, sources told Reuters on March 22.  -Reuters

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