October 20, 2014 / 2:07 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Qatari lender Masraf Al Rayan lifts quarterly profit by 23 pct

(Adds detail, context)

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Masraf Al Rayan, Qatar’s largest Islamic lender by market value, reported a 22.6 percent rise in net profit for the third quarter, falling short of analysts’ forecasts.

Qatari banks have benefited from the knock-on effects of the state’s heavy investment in infrastructure and preparations to host the 2022 World Cup, though intense domestic competition has prompted many banks to seek expansion abroad to enhance their earnings potential.

Masraf Al Rayan took a majority stake in Islamic Bank of Britain in February and had been targeting a strategic stake in a Libyan commercial bank until political conditions worsened, prompting it to delay the plans last month.

The bank’s net profit for the three months to Sept. 30 was 526 million riyals ($143.3 million), against 429 million riyals a year earlier, according to Reuters’ calculations from a company statement.

The average forecast from analysts polled by Reuters was for net profit of 529.4 million riyals.

Net profit for the nine months to Sept. 30 was 1.43 billion riyals, compared with 1.25 billion riyals in the same period a year ago, a bourse filing said. (1 US dollar = 3.6413 Qatar riyal) (Reporting by Tom Arnold; Editing by Praveen Menon and David Goodman)

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