January 17, 2019 / 9:51 AM / a month ago

Strong public spending helps lift profits at National Bank of Kuwait

DUBAI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) , the Gulf Arab state’s largest commercial lender, reported a 17 percent jump in fourth-quarter net profit on Thursday, and a rise in annual profit, due to strong growth in business volumes and improved margins.

Kuwaiti banks have benefited from strong government spending, which has helped lift corporate borrowing, and rises in interest rates and NBK joins a string of Gulf banks that have reported stronger profits this week.

The bank said it made a net profit of 98.3 million dinars ($324 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, compared to 84.0 million dinars a year earlier and beating a forecast by EFG Hermes for a quarterly net profit of 95.0 million dinars.

For the full year of 2018, the bank’s net profit was 370.7 million dinars, compared to 322.4 million dinars the year before. ($1 = 0.3032 Kuwaiti dinars) (Reporting by Tom Arnold; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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