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Saudi's SABB Q1 Profit Up 13.7 Pct, Beats Forecasts

Saudi's SABB Q1 Profit Up 13.7 Pct, Beats Forecasts

Saudi lender SABB posted a 13.7 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, the affiliate of HSBC said on Tuesday, beating analyst forecasts.

April 11, 2012 9:52 by



Saudi lender SABB posted a 13.7 percent rise in first-quarter net profit, the affiliate of HSBC said on Tuesday, 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.

A Reuters survey of analysts showed an average forecast of SABB’s income rising to 801 million riyals.

The first-quarter result translated into an earning per share of 0.85 riyals compared to 0.75 riyals in the same period last year, the bank said in its statement.

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.

Income from special commissions fell 6.7 percent to 775 million riyals from a year ago, while loans and advances rose 19.7 percent on the year to 91.2 billion riyals, SABB said.

Total assets were valued at 144 billion riyals at the end of the first quarter, versus 126 billion riyals a year earlier.

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

Following a long process of provisioning by all banks ordered by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority after the collapse of a major conglomerate in 2009 prompted concerns over bad loans in the kingdom. ($1 = 3.7502 Saudi riyals)

(Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by Firouz Sedarat)



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