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Bahrain lender Al Baraka reports 7% profit increase

Bahrain-based Islamic bank Al Baraka Banking Group has said its first-quarter net income increased by 7% to $57.4m, compared with $53.5m in the first three months of 2011, Reuters has reported. The bank, which has operations in 15 countries including Turkey, Syria and Egypt, also saw its total assets during the quarter rise 1.7% to $17.5bn from the $17.2bn figure at the end of 2011, and 7.4% higher than the $16.3bn at the same point last year. Al Baraka is aiming to open 50 branches across its network in the next three years to take the total number to over 500, the lender said.