(Adds quarterly financial results, context, detail)
By Tom Arnold
DUBAI, July 11 (Reuters) - Qatar National Bank (QNB) reported a 6.3 percent increase in second-quarter net profit on Wednesday, as a rise in net interest income helped offset an increase in bad loans for the Middle East and Africa’s largest lender.
The bank made a net profit of 3.67 billion riyals ($1.01 billion) in the three months to June 30, compared with 3.45 billion riyals in the corresponding period of 2017, according to a financial statement.
Reuters had earlier calculated the profit rise at 5.7 percent in the initial absence of a quarterly breakdown, with the difference largely due to rounding.
The results were broadly in line with the forecasts of two analysts polled by Reuters. SICO Bahrain forecast the bank would make a net profit of 3.42 billion riyals, while EFG Hermes expected a net profit of 3.53 billion riyals.
The bank aims to increase its profit by 5 to 8 percent this year and loans and investments by 10 to 12 percent, helped by expansion into faster-growing Southeast Asia markets, its chief executive told Reuters in April.
QNB has benefited from huge public spending in recent years as Qatar prepares to boost infrastructure and host the 2022 soccer World Cup.
During the quarter, the bank’s net interest income grew by 7.5 percent to 4.75 billion riyals. The rise helped offset a slight dip in net fees and commission income and a 69.9 percent leap in net impairment losses for loans and advances to customers.
QNB in 2016 completed the takeover of Turkey’s Finansbank and also owns a business in Egypt and a 23.5 percent stake in pan-African lender Ecobank International.
For the first half of the year, the bank’s loans and advances rose by 9 percent to 604 billion riyals, while deposits climbed by 9 percent to 614 billion riyals.
Qatari banks have been given infusions of cash from public sector deposits to help counter any outflows as a result of the diplomatic crisis that erupted in June last year between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. ($1 = 3.6400 Qatar riyals) (Reporting By Tom Arnold; Editing by Jane Merriman and Mark Potter)