Bank Muscat, Oman’s largest bank by assets, saw its H1 2022 net profit rise by 5% to 99.26 million riyals ($258 million) despite lower net interest income and higher operating expenses.

Net interest income from conventional banking and net income from Islamic financing reached 166.25 million riyals for the first six months of the year, compared to 168.44 million riyals for the same period in 2021, the bank stated in a bourse filing on Thursday.

Operating expenses went up by 8% to 102.71 million riyals. However, net impairment for credit and other losses fell to 28.40 million riyals from 35.33 million riyals on improving crude oil prices. In addition, for the prior-year period, the bank had made higher provisions in view of the pandemic slowdown.

Bank Muscat did not disclose net profit for the most recent quarter. However, according to Zawya calculations, the bank made a net profit of 51 million riyals for Q2. The effort beat analysts’ estimates of 48 million riyals, according to data provider Refinitiv.

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Daniel Luiz)