UPDATE 1-First Gulf Bank's profit up 16 pct, in line with expectations

Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:53am EDT

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DUBAI, July 22 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi-based First Gulf Bank matched analyst expectations by reporting a 16 percent rise in second-quarter net profit on Tuesday, with earnings growth propelled by lending income.

The second-largest lender by market value in the United Arab Emirates made a net profit of 1.35 billion dirhams ($367.6 million) for the three months to June 30, it said in an emailed statement.

The average forecast from six analysts polled by Reuters was net profit of 1.33 billion dirhams for the quarter.

Earnings growth in the period was boosted by a 12 percent year-on-year increase in net interest and Islamic financing income, which rose to 1.65 billion dirhams on the back of an improved net interest margin and higher lending.

Total lending stood at 128.2 billion dirhams at June 30, up 4 percent since March 31 and 6 percent on the same point of 2013. Deposits at June 30 were 137.5 billion dirham on June 30, up 6 percent and 11 percent over the same timeframes.

Non-interest income also gained in the second quarter, rising 18 percent year on year to 641 million dirhams on higher contributions from subsidiaries.

"Our operational and financial performance throughout the first half of 2014 bodes well for the second half of the year and beyond," Chief Executive Andre Sayegh said in the statement. ($1 = 3.6728 United Arab Emirates dirhams) (Reporting by David French; Editing by David Goodman)

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