Ramallah-headquartered Bank of Palestine has posted increased profits for the third quarter of this year, defying the wider economic stagnation affecting the Palestinian territories.

Profit before tax reached $38.6m, an increase of just over 4 per cent on the same time period last year. Deposits also grew to reach just under $1.8bn, an increase of almost 14 per cent of last year’s $1.5bn.

The bank’s loan book also grew by close to ten per cent, reaching $1.7bn.

Bank of Palestine is one of the largest banks in Palestine with approximately 20 per cent share of deposits and credit facilities.

The bank is growing despite predictions of economic slowdown. The latest report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released in September forecasts growth to drop to 4.5 per cent in 2013 and decline to 3 per cent by 2016. In comparison GDP in 2011 stood at 12.2 per cent.

A World Bank report released in October said that growth is restricted due to the more than 60 per cent of the land in the West Bank remaining inaccessible to Palestine.

It said the economy could expand by as much as 35 per cent if access was allowed.