Saudi British Bank fourth quarter net profit jumps by 20 per cent

City A.M. Reporter
SAUDI British Bank, Saudi Arabia’s fourth-largest listed bank, said yesterday its fourth-quarter net profit rose 20 per cent over the same period of 2012, beating analyst expectations.

The lender, an affiliate of HSBC Holdings, said it made 976m riyals (£157.8m) in the three months to 31 December, compared to 815m riyals in the corresponding period of 2012.

SABB attributed its profit rise only to higher operating income, without elaborating.

Net profit for full-year 2013 advanced 16.5 per cent to 3.77bn riyals.

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

SABB’s loans portfolio climbed 10 per cent to 106bn riyals over the end of 2012, and deposits grew 15 per cent over the same timeframe to 139bn riyals.

Saudi banks have benefited from rising lending, deposits and deal activity in an economy buoyed by years of high state spending which is backed by strong oil prices and record government surpluses.

The kingdom’s budget for 2014, while the smallest increase for a decade at 4.3 per cent, is still another record amount, and bank lending to the private sector grew at 13.8 per cent year-on-year in November, up 0.3 per cent from the previous month’s 17-month low.

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