Bank Dhofar, Oman's third-largest bank by market capitalisation, swung to a net profit in the first half, after taking a one-off provision in the same period last year which pushed it into the red.
The lender made a profit of RO19.5 million ($50.6 million) in the six months to June 30, according to a statement to the Muscat bourse on Wednesday. In the same period last year, the bank reported a RO4.6 million loss.
The first-half profits in 2011 were hit by a RO26.1 million provision the bank took after it lost a court case with HSBC Bank Oman and Ali Redha Trading and Muttrah Holding over the ownership of 1.9 million Bank Dhofar shares.
The second-quarter profit for Bank Dhofar was RO10.1 million, according to Reuters calculations. The lender only published first-half results in 2011, meaning there was no quarterly breakdown to enable a comparison to be made.
The number exceeded the average of two analysts polled by Reuters, who expected a profit of RO9.1 million for the quarter.
The loans and advances rose 24.1 percent during the first half of the year to RO1.61 billion, up from RO1.3 billion at the same point in 2011. The end-June figure was 1.9 per cent higher than the RO1.58 billion recorded at the end of the first quarter, according to Reuters calculations.
Total assets stood at RO2.1 billion, up 26.6 per cent on the six months to June 30, 2011 figure of RO1.66 billion and 2.9 per cent higher than the RO2.04 billion held at the end of the first quarter.
Shares in Bank Dhofar have fallen 8.4 per cent year-to-date, compared to the main Muscat index which has dropped 3.3 per cent.
Kuwait inflation plunges to nine-year low
Kuwait's annual inflation rate fell to a modest 2.7 per cent in October - its lowest in nine years, despite robust consumer spending and some improvement in business sentiment, said a report.