Saudi Bank NCB Q1 Profit Rises 2.8% On Higher Operating Income

The lender made a net profit of SAR2.61 billion ($696 million) in the first quarter of 2015.

Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB), the kingdom’s largest bank, posted a 2.8 percent rise in first-quarter net profit as operating income rose, it said on Tuesday.

The lender made a net profit of SAR2.61 billion ($696 million) in the three months to March 31, compared to SAR2.54 billion in the same period of 2014, it said in a bourse statement.

This was above SICO Bahrain’s quarterly profit forecast of SAR2.15 billion.

The bank attributed its increase in net profit to higher total operating income — which gained 15.1 percent year on year to SAR4.45 billion — without elaborating.

Saudi companies issue brief earnings statements early in the reporting period before publishing more detailed results later.

Profits from special commissions also increased 11.7 percent over the same timeframe to SAR3.02 billion.

Saudi Arabian banks have so far appeared to largely shrug off the impact of the fall in oil prices since June 2014. Banks should be helped by a government budget that lifts state spending to a record in 2015.

Loans and advances at the end of March stood at SAR225.9 billion, gaining 14.4 per cent on the same point of 2014, while deposits rose 2.7 per cent to SAR342.1 billion over the same period.