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DUBAI: Kuwait Finance House (KFH) , the country's biggest Islamic lender, posted a 9.4% annual rise in net profit in the second quarter of this year, the bank said on Wednesday.

Net profit attributable to shareholders in the second quarter amounted to 56.1 million Kuwaiti dinars ($184.34 million), though net operating profit decreased by 2.3% to 122.6 million dinars.

In the first half of this year, net profit rose 13.1% on an annual basis, mainly because of an increase in total operating income and lower operating expenses, KFH said.

The bank is taking over Bahrain's Ahli United Bank in the first major cross-border bank merger deal in the Gulf region in recent years.

The deal, formalised in January, is expected to boost consolidated profit by more than 90 percent from the level in 2018, KFH said at the time.

The transaction will create the largest banking entity in Kuwait, with assets of about $94 billion.

Copyright Reuters, 2019