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14 April 2024

Bahrain's Ahli United Q4 net profit jumps 63%

By Agencies


Ahli United Bank, Bahrain's biggest lender by market value, made $70.37 million in the fourth quarter, up 63.2 per cent from the year-earlier period.

Ahli United posted profit of $296.32 million in 2007 compared with $207.48 million in 2006, it said in a statement on the Kuwaiti bourse Web site, without giving quarterly data, which Reuters calculated from previous financial statements.

In a Reuters net profit survey in December, Global Investment House said it expected Ahli United's fourth-quarter profit to hit $54.3 million, up 25.9 per cent from the year-earlier period.

Ahli United made $43.13 million in the fourth quarter of 2006 and $225.95 million in the first nine months of 2007, according to financial statements posted on the stock market regulator's website.

The bank also proposed a 14 per cent cash dividend and bonus shares of one free share for every 10 held.

At 0727 GMT, the lender's shares, which gained 6 per cent this year, were flat.

The bank operates in Britain, Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, Oman and Egypt and is targeting Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Switzerland for expansion, Group Chief Executive Abdulla Al-Raeesi said in January.

The lender, which operates four Islamic branches --two in Bahrain, one in Britain and another in Qatar, also plans to increase its Islamic business to 50 branches by 2010 and is in talks with the Egyptian central bank for an Islamic licence. (Reuters)