KUWAIT: Kuwait Finance House (KFH), the country’s biggest Islamic lender, on Sunday reported a 21.4 percent fall in first-quarter net profit, missing analysts’ expectations.
Net profit for the quarter was 30.9 million Kuwaiti dinars ($107 million), down from 39.3 million dinars in the same period a year earlier, KFH said in a statement on the bourse.
Earnings per share stood at 12.6 fils, down from 15.9 fils in the first quarter of last year. There are 1,000 fils to the dinar.
Two analysts had forecast net profit of 46 million and AED65 million for the lender, according to a Reuters survey.
KFH Chairman Bader al-Mukhaizeem said in a statement the lender continued to book "sufficient provisions to face any consequences of the crisis". He did not provide any figures.
Naser Al-Nafisi, general manager of Al Joman Center for Economic Consultancy, said the drop in profit was due to the bank’s investments in troubled Kuwaiti companies and reported trouble at its Malaysia unit.
"Kuwait Finance House invests in many Islamic investment companies that are in financial trouble … and at the same time it gave them loans," the analyst said.
He said it was not clear if the problems in Malaysia were related to the lender’s investments there or to its clients.
However, Nafisi said the first-quarter figure was "very good" when compared with earlier rumors about possible losses from the lender. The stock had fallen nearly 12 percent over the past five weeks as investors fretted over its likely results.
KFH stocks was trading up 3.9 percent at 0850 GMT on the Kuwait bourse