Net profit at Bank Muscat, Oman's largest bank by market value, nearly halved in the first quarter, as provisions against bad loans remained high and the year-ago comparison figure was boosted by a stake sale.
The Oman bank posted a 49 per cent drop in first quarter net profit to RO24.5 million (Dh233.6m, $63.6m) from RO48.4m in the same period in 2009, a statement on the bourse website said yesterday. The result falls below the expectations of analysts polled by Reuters, who estimated an average net profit for Q1 of RO30.2m. Bank Muscat's Q1 result in 2009 included a RO35.3m gain on the sale of the bank's stake in India's HDFC Bank.
The bank said impairments for credit losses for the quarter rose to RO11.8m. Banks in Oman have in the past year booked more provisions against bad debt.