Saudi National Bank reports 19% jump in Q3 profit on income boost and lower impairments

Kingdom's largest lender registered a decline of about 11.5% in total operating expenses

 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia -- July 19, 2009 -- A National Commercial Bank (NCB) branch. Michael Bou-Nacklie for The National
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Saudi National Bank, the largest lender in Saudi Arabia by assets, reported a 19 per cent increase in third-quarter net profit on higher operating income and lower impairment charges as the kingdom's economic recovery continues.

Net profit for the three months to the end of September rose to 4.7 billion Saudi riyals ($1.26bn), up from 3.9bn riyals in the same quarter last year, the lender said in a statement on Sunday to the Tadawul Stock Exchange, where its shares are traded.

SNB’s total operating income for the July-September period climbed about 7 per cent year-on-year to 8.4bn riyals amid higher net special commission income, income from banking services fees, foreign exchange, investment and lower operating expenses, the lender said.

Total operating expenses including impairments were 11.5 per cent lower owing to lower staff expenses, amortisation of intangible assets, other general and administrative expenses, and net impairment charges for expected credit losses.

Banks in the kingdom, like their GCC peers, are recording improved operating conditions and increased profitability as Gulf economies continue to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic-induced slowdown.

Saudi Arabia’s economy is set to grow at the quickest pace in a decade and will probably be one of the world’s fastest-growing economies this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The kingdom’s gross domestic product is forecast to expand by 7.6 per cent this year after 3.2 per cent growth in 2021, according to the IMF, while Saudi investment bank Jadwa Investment estimates output this year at 8.7 per cent and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development projects growth of 9.9 per cent.

Saudi Arabia's economy grew 12.2 per cent in the second quarter, exceeding initial estimates and registering the fastest expansion in more than a decade on the back of higher oil prices.

SNB, which was created by the merger of National Commercial Bank with smaller rival Samba Financial Group last year, said its profit for the first nine months of this year rose 42 per cent year-on-year to 13.8bn riyals.

Net impairment charges for expected credit losses in the nine-month period declined to 1.52bn riyals, down from 3.43bn riyals a year ago.

The lender's total assets grew about 7 per cent 964bn riyals. Loans and advances rose nearly 7 per cent to 536bn riyals, while customer deposits remained flat at about 597bn riyals.

Updated: October 23, 2022, 11:03 AM