Al-Rajhi Q4 net profit up 13.5pc to $442m
Riyadh, January 19, 2011
Saudi-based Al-Rajhi Bank, the kingdom's biggest Islamic lender, said on Wednesday it posted a 13.5 percent rise in fourth quarter net profit, broadly in line with analysts' forecasts.
Al-Rajhi said net profit for the three months ended December 31 rose to 1.66 billion riyals ($442 million) from 1.47 billion riyals in the fourth quarter of 2009, following a string of upbeat earnings releases from banks in the world's top oil exporting nation.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected 1.69 billion riyals on average.
Net income from lending in the fourth quarter went up 3 percent to 2.14 billion riyals, Al-Rajhi said in a bourse statement.
The bank said in a separate statement it plans to pay 1.5 riyals per share in dividends for the second half of 2010.
Most banks in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's biggest economy, have posted upbeat fourth-quarter results, with several above analysts' average forecasts, after booking provisions in the third quarter.
Al-Rajhi made no reference to any provisions but Saudi central bank governor Muhammad Al-Jasser said earlier on Wednesday local banks taken adequate measures to account for bad loans.
Al-Rajhi nearly doubled provisions during the third quarter to cover 122 percent of its total non-performing loans.
Total financing grew 7.14 percent to 120 billion riyals as per the year ended December 31, the bank said. - Reuters