Riyad Bank posts 5.5pc rise in Q1 profit
Riyadh, April 8, 2013
Riyad Bank, third-largest listed bank in Saudi Arabia by market value, posted a 5.5 per cent rise in its first-quarter profits on Sunday, beating analysts' forecasts.
The bank said in a bourse statement that it made SR951 million ($254 million) in the three months ended March 31, compared with SR901 million in the same period a year earlier.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the bank to post an average of SR876 million for the first quarter.
Riyad Bank attributed the rise in profits to higher operating income, without providing further explanation. Operating income for the quarter rose by 4.9 per cent to SR1.73 billion.
Profits from special commissions rose by 2.1 per cent to SR1.09 billion.
Loans and advances increased by 6.4 per cent to SR121 billion at the end of March from the same point of 2012.
In a March 26 research note, Arqaam Capital forecast lending growth for Riyad Bank of around 7 per cent over the course of 2013. Growth will be sluggish, given the bank's conservative approach to risk and its desire to maintain net interest margins, it said.
Total assets at the end of the first quarter were SR186 billion, 1.7 per cent higher the year before, while customer deposits gained 3.2 per cent to SR144 billion.-Reuters