Al Rajhi Bank Q1 profit up 2pc to $546m
Riyadh, April 10, 2013
Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia's largest listed lender, posted a 2 percent increase in its first-quarter net profit On Wednesday, helped by a jump in both lending and customer deposits portfolio.
The bank made a net profit of 2.05 billion riyals ($546.6 million) in the three months ending March 31, compared with 2.01 billion riyals in the same period a year earlier, it said in a statement to the Saudi bourse.
Nine analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the bank to post, on average, 2.03 billion riyals for the first quarter.
Two other Saudi lenders, Saudi Hollandi Bank and Saudi British Bank (SABB) beat estimates for first-quarter net profit on Monday.
Al Rajhi attributed its profit growth to higher operating income, without giving more details. Saudi banks typically do not comment on their performance until they publish more detailed results later in the quarter.
Operating income for the quarter rose by 3 percent to 3.53 billion riyals.
Total financing at the end of the first quarter stood at 180 billion riyals, gaining 18.4 percent on the same point of 2012, although it added that its figures for financing, assets and customer deposits had been reclassified, without elaborating.
Bank lending in Saudi Arabia dipped from December's 14-month high in the first two months of 2013 but growth was still 13.4 percent and 12 percent year-on-year in January and February respectively.
In a March 26 research note, Dubai-based Arqaam Capital said loan growth at Al Rajhi should be around 17 percent in 2013, with deposits increasing by around 16 percent over the course of the year.
Customer deposits stood at 232 billion riyals on March 31, up 20.8 percent on the same point last year.
Al Rajhi's total assets were worth 276 billion riyals at the end of the first quarter, up 18 percent on the same point of 2012. - Reuters
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