April 16, 2018 / 2:24 PM / 10 months ago

Qatar's Masraf Al Rayan's first quarter net profit rises 4.1 percent

DUBAI (Reuters) - Masraf Al Rayan MARK.QA, Qatar’s second-largest bank by market value, reported a 4.1 percent increase in first-quarter net profit on Monday, in line with the forecasts of two analysts.

It is the third major bank to report earnings for the quarter after Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA, which was broadly in line with the forecasts of two analysts, and Qatar Islamic Bank QISB.QA, which beat estimates.

Masraf Al Rayan said its net profit for the three months to March 31 was 531 million riyals ($146 million). It reported a net profit of 510 million riyals for the same period of last year.

QNB Financial Services had forecast Masraf Al Rayan’s net profit of 517.7 million riyals, while EFG Hermes had expected it to report a net profit of 520.2 million riyals.

In a deal that would create Qatar’s second-largest bank by assets, Masraf Al Rayan is in initial merger talks with Barwa Bank IPO.BABK.QA and International Bank of Qatar.

The governor of Qatar’s central bank said earlier this month that he hoped a planned merger between the trio can proceed this year.

Reporting by Tom Arnold; Editing by Alexander Smith

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