Dubai: Bank Dhofar, currently in talks to merge with smaller rival Bank Sohar, met analysts’ expectations as it posted a 23 per cent rise in second-quarter net profit on Sunday.

Oman’s second-largest bank by market value made a profit of 10.28 million rials ($26.7 million) in the three-month period to June 30 compared to 8.36 million rials in the same timeframe last year, according to Reuters calculations.

An average of three analysts polled by Reuters had estimated a quarterly profit of 10.11 million rials.

Bank Dhofar didn’t provide a quarterly breakdown so Reuters calculated based on previous financial statements.

Net profit for the first six months of 2013 was 20.5 million rials, well down on the 40.8 million rials recorded for the corresponding period of last year, a statement to the Omani bourse said, as the bank didn’t repeat a one-off gain booked in 2013 from a court case victory.

Net loans and advances grew 20.8 per cent year-on-year to 2.18 billion rials, with deposits also up over the same timeframe, rising 26.1 per cent to 2.19 billion rials.

It is a year since Bank Dhofar said it had approached Bank Sohar with a view to merging the two entities and creating Oman’s second-largest bank.

Last month, Bank Dhofar proposed a preliminary share swap ratio to Bank Sohar for the tie-up, although completing a due diligence exercise and obtaining necessary approvals still needed to happen.

The new entity would have total assets worth 4.78 billion rials, based on first-quarter financial statements.