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DUBAI, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Bahrain-based Islamic lender Al Baraka Banking Group posted a 12 percent rise in third-quarter net profit, th e bank said on Sunday, boosted by increased lending activity.
The bank, which has operations across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, made a net profit of $63 million for the third quarter, compared with $56 million in the same period of 2011, it said in a statement.
Net profit attributable to equity holders rose to $36 million for the third quarter, compared with $33 million in the same period last year.
The rise was helped by an increase in total operating income, which rose to $231 million in the quarter, from $182 million during the same period last year, a 30 percent increase.
Net profit for the first nine months of the year was $183 million, a 10.3 percent increase versus the corresponding period of 2011.
Net attributable profit for the first nine months of the year was $107 million, a 10 percent increase versus the corresponding period of 2011.
Operating expenses increased by 17 percent due to branch network expansion and expenses in IT and human resources.
"We expect that total branches of the Group's units will exceed 500 branches during the coming three years," said Adnan Ahmed Yousif, chief executive of Al Baraka, in the statement.
Subsidiary units in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and South Africa continued their branch expansion in the first nine months of the year and this had a direct impact on growing the deposit base and financing portfolios, he added.
The bank is also preparing to expand its operations in Libya, where it currently has a representative office.
Total assets for the group stood at $18.4 billion at the end of September, up 7 percent on the end of 2011. Customer deposits grew by 7 percent in the same period, to $15.7 billion.
Al Baraka is aiming for 15 percent growth in net profit in 2012, as well as acquiring a 75 percent stake in an unlisted Indonesian bank this year, Yousif told Reuters in an interview in March. (Reporting by Bernardo Vizcaino; Editing by Susan Fenton)