Saudi banks post impressive profit growth
Riyadh, April 10, 2012
Leading Saudi banks, including HSBC affiliate SABB and the kingdom's biggest Islamic lender Al Rajhi Bank, today reported impressive profits for the first quarter of this year.
SABB posted a 13.7 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, beating analyst forecasts. The bank cited lower operating expenses as the reason for its performance in a statement posted on the website of the Saudi bourse.
The kingdom's fourth-largest listed lender by market value posted a net profit of 854 million riyals ($227.72 million), up from 751 million riyals a year ago and 655 million riyals in the previous quarter. Total operating profit for the period edged up by 1.2 percent to 1.24 billion riyals from 1.22 billion in the first quarter of 2011.
Al Rajhi Bank posted an 18 percent rise in first-quarter net profit due to an increase in operational income, but it missed analysts' forecasts.
Earnings for the three months ended March 31 rose to 2.01 billion riyals ($536 million) from 1.70 billion riyals a year earlier, the bank said in a statement posted on the website of the Saudi bourse.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters had expected 2.09 billion riyals on average. The bank had net profits of 1.9 billion riyals in the last quarter of 2011.
Operational income rose 16.7 percent to 3.43 billion riyals, net income from finance and investments rose 4.3 percent to 2.33 billion riyals and total assets at the end of the period were 234 billion riyals, compared to 203 billion a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Saudi Hollandi Bank posted a 21.9 percent rise in net profit on higher operating income and lower expenses, but missed analysts' expectations.
The bank made 290 million riyals ($77.3 million) in the first quarter, it said, compared to 238 million riyals for the same period a year ago.
The bank attributed the result to lower operating expenses and higher operating income, which rose 11.3 percent to 540 million riyals from 485 million riyals in the first three months of 2011, it said in a statement posted on the website of the Saudi bourse. - Reuters
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