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DUBAI, April 16 (Reuters) - National Bank of Kuwait reported a 8.1 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, the Gulf Arab state's largest commercial lender said in a statement on Sunday.
Net profit for the three months to March 31 rose to 85.4 million dinars ($280.8 million) from 78.9 million a year earlier, it said.
EFG Hermes forecast NBK would make a quarterly net profit of 83.3 million dinars, while Arqaam Capital forecast a net profit of 84.0 million.
The bank attributed the rise in net profit to higher net interest income and income from Islamic financing as a result of strong growth in business volumes.
Banks in Kuwait have been managing to withstand some of the pressure from lower oil prices 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 = 0.3042 Kuwaiti dinars Reporting by Tom Arnold; editing by Jason Neely