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DUBAI, Oct 17 (Reuters) - National Bank of Kuwait, the Gulf Arab state's largest commercial lender, reported a 6.4 percent rise in third-quarter net profit, according to a statement on Monday.
The bank made a net profit of 68.65 million dinars ($227.24 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, compared to 64.53 million dinars a year earlier, it said in the bourse filing.
Analysts at EFG Hermes and HSBC forecast NBK would make a quarterly net profit of 73.7 million dinars and 67 million dinars respectively.
Banks in Kuwait and the rest of the Gulf are facing stronger headwinds as lower oil prices trim deposit growth and push up problem loans. Still, in a research note last month, Moody's Investors Service noted that Kuwaiti banks were better placed than their regional peers to weather liquidity tightening as they remained primarily deposit funded and liquidity buffers were comfortable.
The bank's net interest income edged up 5.9 percent to 118.98 million dinars, while net fees and commission income dipped by 1.2 percent to 31.76 million dinars. ($1 = 0.3021 Kuwaiti dinars) (Reporting by Tom Arnold; Editing by David French)