Saudi top bank NCB posts $680m Q4 loss
Riyadh, January 24, 2009
National Commercial Bank (NCB), Saudi Arabia's largest bank by assets, made a net loss of SR2.55 billion ($680 million) in the fourth quarter, blaming provisions for its investments for a poor performance in 2008.
State-owned NCB made a net profit of SR2.03 billion in 2008, down 66 percent from a year earlier, the bank said in a statement.
'The bank attributed the drop in ... (net profit) mainly to provisions for its investment portfolio which were set aside to address the decline in the current value of these investments,' NCB said in a statement.
The provisions, which it did not quantify, were 'intended as a prudent measure to safeguard the strength of the bank's assets,' it added. It did not elaborate.
NCB did not give earning figure for the fourth quarter. Based on the bank's previous earnings statements and Reuters calculations, the bank made a net loss of SR2.55 billion in the three months to December 31.
The bank reported a SR4.58 billion net profit for the nine months to September 30, 2008.-Reuters