Bahrain's Ahli United Bank's Q4 profit rises 8 pct

DUBAI Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:18am EST

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DUBAI Feb 19 (Reuters) - Ahli United Bank, Bahrain's largest lender, posted an 8 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday.

The bank's net profit for the three months to Dec. 31 was $77.2 million, up from $71.5 million in the corresponding period of 2012, it said in a statement.

Net profit for the full year 2013 was $579.4 million, a significant jump on the $335.7 million it made in the previous year, largely due to a one-off gain in the first quarter.

The bank booked a $212.9 million gain after selling a 29.4 percent stake in Qatar's Ahli Bank in January 2013 to Qatar Foundation, a non-profit organisation wholly-owned by the Gulf state's royal family.

Excluding that sale, the full-year profit was still 25.7 percent higher than the previous year, the statement said.

Ahli United's board has recommended a cash dividend of $0.045 per share and a 5 percent bonus share issue for 2013. This compares with $0.04 and 5 percent respectively in 2012. (Reporting by David French; Editing by Matt Smith)

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