DOHA, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Qatar National Bank (QNB), the largest lender in the Gulf Arab region, posted a 13.7 percent increase in fourth- quarter net profit, slightly trailing analysts’ expectations.
The bank, which completed the purchase of a majority stake in Societe Generale’s Egyptian arm for $2 billion last March, reported a net profit of 2.4 billion riyals ($659 million) for the final three months of 2013, according to Reuters calculations based on company data.
This compared with 2.11 billion riyals in the same period of 2012.
Analysts, on average, had forecast a net profit rise of 17.5 percent to 2.48 billion riyals.
Full-year profit for 2013 was 9.5 billion riyals, also up 13.7 percent on the previous year, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
QNB’s board has recommended a cash dividend of 7 riyals per share for 2013, the statement added. This is up from the 6 riyals per share paid for the previous year, according to Reuters data. ($1 = 3.6415 Qatar riyals) (Reporting by Amena Bakr; Writing by David French; Editing by Andrew Torchia)