* Q3 net profit 3.41 bln riyals vs 3.13 bln riyals yr ago
* Net fees and commission income up by two-thirds
* But impaired loans increase from low base
(Adds data from financial statement, detail, context)
By Tom Arnold
DUBAI, Oct 10 Qatar National Bank
(QNB), the Gulf's largest lender, met analysts' forecasts on
Monday with a 8.7 percent increase in third-quarter net profit,
lifted by its recent takeover of Turkey's Finansbank.
Cementing its position as the largest lender in the Middle
East and Africa by assets, the bank completed a 2.7 billion euro
($3.02 billion) purchase of Turkey's fifth-largest
privately-owned lender by assets from National Bank of Greece
That buy helped lift QNB's net fees and commission income by
roughly two-thirds and its net interest income by 49 percent
during the third quarter from the same period of last year.
QNB posted a net profit of 3.41 billion riyals ($936.5
million) during the quarter, compared with 3.13 billion riyals
in the corresponding period of 2015, according to a financial
statement released by the bank.
That was broadly in line with forecasts from three analysts
polled by Reuters, who had on average expected a quarterly net
profit of 3.26 billion riyals.
QNB, which also owns a business in Egypt and a 23.5 percent
stake in pan-African lender Ecobank International, has been
striving to build its presence outside of its small domestic
market, where banks are adjusting to slimmer state spending in
2016 after the government tightened its budget for the year
against a backdrop of lower oil prices.
That contrasts with previous years when banking profits were
propelled by lavish state spending and low levels of bad debt.
As well as an uptick in credit issues in its home market,
albeit from a very low base, the Finansbank acquisition could
also expose it to more soured loans as Turkey's economy wanes in
the wake of a failed coup in July.
During the quarter, net impairment losses on loans and
advances to customers jumped to 475 million riyals.
In the same period last year, the bank booked a 91 million
riyal profit, attributable to recovering more than it expected
from previously-classified bad loans than it had to set aside
for new problem debts.
($1 = 3.6412 Qatar riyals)
($1 = 0.8928 euros)
(Editing by David French/Keith Weir)