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Saudi’s Samba Net Profit Rises 2.3%

Saudi’s Samba Net Profit Rises 2.3%

Samba, the Kingdom’s second-largest listed lender by market value, made SAR1.16 billion in the third quarter of the year.

Saudi’s Samba Financial Group said on Saturday its third-quarter net profit rose 2.3 per cent over last year, beating analyst expectations.

Saudi banks are benefiting from expansionary fiscal policies, ample liquidity and improving corporate loan demand, according to a July 2 report from Deutsche Bank.

However, results this quarter have been mixed, with Riyad Bank, Saudi British Bank and Banque Saudi Fransi, the third, fourth and fifth largest lenders, missing analyst forecasts.

Bank lending to the private sector grew by 14 per cent in August over the same month last year, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA – central bank), said in September.

A report by Credit Suisse in August predicted Saudi banks should deliver double-digit earnings growth for the next three years thanks to higher credit volumes.

Samba, the Kingdom’s second-largest listed lender by market value said in a bourse statement that it made SAR1.16 billion ($310 million) compared with SAR1.14 billion in the three months ending September 30 2011.

Ten analysts surveyed by Reuters forecast the firm to post, on average, a net profit of SAR1.13 billion.

The bank attributed its performance to increased operating income without elaborating.

Total operating income for the third-quarter dropped one per cent on the year to SAR1.7 billion, while profit from special commissions grew six per cent to SAR1.12 billion.

The bank’s loans portfolio jumped 11 per cent to SAR98 billion.

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