Mashreq back into black in Q4

Quarterly profit at Dubai bank Mashreq swung to a profit in the latest quarter on higher interest income and lower loan losses.

Mashreq made a profit of Dh155.6 million ($42.4 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, Reuters calculated, compared with a net loss of Dh119 million a year earlier.

It reported a full year net profit of Dh803 million in an emailed statement.

"While 2010 has been a year of steady recovery, we anticipate further improvement in 2011," Chief Executive Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair said in a statement.

Provisions for bad loans fell 16 per cent to Dh1.76 billion at the end of 2010, and non-performing assets increased to Dh3.9 billion from Dh3.6 billion.

Mashreq also said it took an 80 per cent provision for loans made to Saudi groups Saad and Algosaibi, in addition to provisions it had already taken against its Dubai World loans.

The bank also said its capital adequacy ratio strengthened to 22.7 per cent from 20.2 per cent.

Reuters calculated quarterly figures from previous financial statements. The lender reported a nine month profit of Dh647.4 million to the end of Sept. 30.

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