Major Gulf Islamic lender Kuwait Finance House (KFH) plunged into losses in the fourth quarter, a day after market leader National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) reported a 78 per cent quarterly profit fall.
Full-year profit fell to KD156.9 million (Dh1.98bn, $539.7m), down from 275.27 million dinars in 2007, KFH said in a statement yesterday. Reuters calculated a net loss of 63.7 million dinars ($219.1 million) in the fourth quarter based on previous data.
Global Investment House analysts surveyed by Reuters in December expected fourth quarter net profit of KD82m.
Kuwait's biggest Islamic bank gave no explanation for the net loss, and company officials could not immediately be reached for comment. KFH had made KD220.59m in the first nine months.
KFH, which has been expanding to Turkey, Asia and Australia to offset rising competition at home, proposed a 40 fils cash dividend and 12 bonus shares for every 100 held for 2008.
Total assets rose to KD10.54bn in 2008 up from KD8.79bn in the previous year, while shareholder equity came in at KD1.24bn after KD1.21bn dinars in 2007, KFH said in the statement on the bourse website.
The news came a day after NBK saw fourth-quarter net profit fell 78 per cent to KD11.6m as it took provisions to offset the impact of a global credit crunch.