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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Samba reports 8.3% rise in third-quarter profit

Saudi bank's commission income increase helps it match analyst estimates with net profit of 1.42bn

Samba reports third-quarter profit increase. AP Photo
Samba reports third-quarter profit increase. AP Photo

Samba Financial Group, Saudi Arabia’s third-largest bank by assets, reported an 8.3 per cent rise in third-quarter profit as special commissions and other operating income increased.

Net income rose to 1.42 billion Saudi riyals (Dh1.39bn) in the three-month period ending September 30 from 1.3bn riyals in the year-earlier period, the bank said in a statement to the Saudi Tadawul stock exchange on Thursday. It matched the average of three analysts' profit estimates of 1.42bn riyals, according to Bloomberg data. Operating income rose to 2.11bn riyals.

Net income rose mainly due to an increase in net special commission income by 9.8 per cent and a 4.4 per cent increase in operating income, Samba said in the bourse filing.

Samba is one of the first major banks in Saudi Arabia to report third-quarter financial results. The recovery of oil prices, which have breached the $80 a barrel mark after three-year lows, is helping stimulate economic growth in Arabian Gulf countries. That's aiding banks that had felt the pinch from weaker oil prices as governments in the region took measures to reduce fiscal deficits.

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Loans and advances dropped 5 per cent to 114.7bn riyals in the third quarter from the same period a year ago. Customer deposits rose 1.75 per cent to 169.6bn riyals.

Analysts including Moody’s expect the operating conditions in Saudi and the wider Gulf to improve and credit growth to return as governments in the region shift focus from austerity to spending amid the rise in oil prices.