July 11 (Reuters) - National Bank of Kuwait, the Gulf Arab state’s largest commercial lender, reported an almost 11 percent rise in second-quarter net profit from a year earlier, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
The bank said its net profit for the first half of the year jumped 9.3 percent due to higher net interest income and net income from Islamic financing, which partly offset higher bad debt charges.
The bank made a net profit of 79.34 million dinars ($262 million) in the three months to June 30, compared to 71.68 million dinars a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations.
EFG Hermes forecast NBK would make a quarterly net profit of 83.98 million dinars and Arqaam Capital estimated its net profit at 83 million.
Banks in Kuwait and the rest of the Gulf are facing stronger headwinds as low oil prices trim deposit growth and push up problem loans. Still, lenders in Kuwait have received a boost as the government pushes ahead with capital spending plans including multi-billion dollar schemes such as the Clean Fuels Project to upgrade and expand two of Kuwait’s largest refineries and the building of the al-Zour refinery.
$1 = 0.3032 Kuwaiti dinars Reporting by Saeed Azhar and Tom Arnold