* Q3 net profit $87.2 mln vs $78.6 mln yr-ago - statement
* Q3 profit gain driven by 19.4 pct gain in net interest income
* Q3 provisions up 49.3 pct on same period last year (Adds detail, background)
DUBAI, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Ahli United Bank, Bahrain’s largest lender by market value, saw its third-quarter net profit rise 11 percent, as its earnings were boosted by an increase in net interest income.
Ahli United made a net profit attributable to shareholders of $87.2 million for the three months to September 30, compared with $78.6 million in the corresponding period of 2011, the bank said in a statement on Monday.
Driving the profits was a 19.4 percent rise in net interest income, which stood at $162.7 million in the third quarter against $136.3 million in the same three months of last year.
This also negated the hike in net provisions during the third quarter, which jumped 49.3 percent on the same three months of 2011 to $40.4 million.
The bank’s nine-month net profit attributable to shareholders was reported as $257.2 million, a 7 percent rise on the same period a year ago.
Growth in loans and advances in the third quarter was flat, staying at the $16.2 billion posted at the end of the second quarter. Since the end of 2011, loans and advances have grown 4.8 percent.
Customer deposits were $18.5 billion at end-September, as opposed to $18.3 billion at the end of the second quarter and $15.5 billion at the end of 2011.
In July, Standard & Poor’s upgraded Ahli United’s short-term credit rating by one notch, following a similar move in regards to the Bahrain sovereign rating. The change was linked to a new method of calculating short-term ratings.
Shares in Ahli United ended Monday flat, with year-to-date losses retained at 16.3 percent. The main Bahrain bourse hit its lowest level since June 2003 last week and is down 7.59 percent year-to-date. (Reporting by Maha El Dahan; Writing by David French; Editing by Praveen Menon)