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Saudi largest lender NCB posts Q2 profit hike

Saudi largest lender NCB posts Q2 profit hike

The lender benefitted from increased fees, commission and investments

Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank(NCB), the kingdom’s largest lender, reported a 6.7 per cent rise in second-quarter net profit on Tuesday on increased fees, commission and investments.

It was the fourth Saudi bank to report earnings on Tuesday, with the other two reporting higher profit and the third, Banque Saudi Fransi(BSF), the kingdom’s fifth-largest bank by assets, posting an 8.4 per cent profit fall.

Despite limited credit growth, Saudi banking industry profitability is expected to edge up this year as higher public spending helps to lift interest margins.

NCB made a net profit of SAR2.58bn ($688m) in the three months to June 30, up from SAR2.42bn in the same period of 2017, it said in a bourse statement.

SICO Bahrain forecast that NCB would make a quarterly profit of SAR2.52bn.

A rise of 4.1 per cent in operating income and 2.9 per cent in special commission income was partially offset by higher total operating expenses, the bank said.

Deposits at the bank, which has close ties to the government, rose 0.9 per cent year on year to SAR317.65bn at the end of June. Loans and advances at the end of June stood at SAR266.04bn, up 3.6 per cent from a year earlier.

BSF made a net profit of SAR921m in the three months to June 30, down from SAR1.01bn in the same period of 2017, it said in a bourse statement.

The bank attributed the decline to an 18.5 per cent rise in total operating expenses, primarily because of higher provisions for credit losses and other expenses.

The earnings missed the average forecast of three analysts polled by Reuters, who expected the bank to make a net profit of SAR1.08bn.

Arab National Bank reported a 8.3 per cent rise in second-quarter net profit to SAR919.1m, in line with the forecasts of three analysts.

Bank Albilad posted net profit for the quarter of SAR275.9m, up by 16.1 per cent from the same period last year.

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