Saudi's Al Rajhi Bank Q1 net profit rises 21 pct on higher fees
DUBAI, April 23 (Reuters) - Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi
Arabia's second-largest lender by assets, reported double-digit
growth in first-quarter net profit on Tuesday, helped by higher
special commission income and fees.
Saudi Arabia's biggest Islamic lender said net profit rose
21 percent in the three months ended March 31 to 2.89 billion
riyals ($771 million). It made net profit of 2.38 billion riyals
in the same period a year earlier.
The bank aims to boost its mortgage lending as more
affordable housing comes on the market, Chief Executive Steve
Bertamini told Reuters this month.
Al Rajhi, which has traditionally focused on consumer
banking, has been cautiously expanding its exposure to the
private sector, Bertamini said, amid expectations that
government employment may not rise much in the future.
Saudi banks' performance in 2019 should be boosted by a
surge in liquidity and an anticipated recovery in lending
against a backdrop of higher oil prices.
Saudi Arabia’s economy grew in the fourth quarter of last
year at its fastest rate since early 2016 due to an expansion in
the oil sector, while non-oil growth was sluggish, statistics
agency data showed in March.
Al Rajhi attributed its performance to an increase in total
operating income, due to special commission income and fees.
Operating income for the quarter rose by 12 percent
year-on-year to 4.64 billion riyals, while profits from special
commissions increased 15 percent over the same time frame to
3.94 billion riyals.
Loans and advances at the end of March stood at 236.42
billion riyals, up 3.6 percent year-on-year, while deposits rose
3.4 percent to 293.5 billion riyals over the same period.
($1 = 3.7500 riyals)
(Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir, Editing by Hadeel Al Sayegh/Mark
Potter and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
First Published: 2019-04-23 15:22:00
Updated 2019-04-23 16:34:18
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