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Banque Saudi Fransi Q1 Net Profit Up 10 Percent

Banque Saudi Fransi Q1 Net Profit Up 10 Percent

Q1 2012 net profit 789 mln riyals vs 717 mln in 2011; Bank cites increased operating income for profit rise; Loans and advances up 15.5 percent on same time last year

April 11, 2012 9:54 by

Banque Saudi Fransi posted a 10 percent gain in its first-quarter net profit on the back of improved operating income, the bank said in a bourse statement on Tuesday, edging ahead of analysts’ expectations.

The 789 million riyals ($210.4 million) it earned in the first three months of 2012 compared with net earnings of 717 million riyals in the same period a year earlier and 661 million riyals in the last quarter of 2011.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the firm to post, on average, 778 million riyals in profit in the first quarter.

The company attributed its profit gains to an increase in total operating income, which rose by 6.1 percent to 1.22 billion riyals from 1.15 billion in the first quarter of 2011.

Profits from special commissions grew by 5.9 percent to 802 million riyals from 757 million riyals in the same period a year earlier.

Loans and advances rose by 15.5 percent to 97 billion riyals from 84 billion riyals at the end of March 2011, it added.

Bank lending to businesses has surged in the Saudi market in recent months, government figures showed in February.

Saudi Fransi Capital, the brokerage arm of Banque Saudi Fransi, has six initial public offerings in the pipeline, including three that might launch in the first half of the year, its chief executive told Reuters in February.

The IPOs, which include firms in the fast-growing construction and cement sectors, range in size from 500 million riyals to over 1 billion riyals.

($1 = 3.7502 Saudi riyals)

(Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by David French)

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