Samba reports 10.2% jump in second quarter net profit as commission income rises

Operating expenses also dropped during the period

Samba Financial Group reports 10.2% rise in its second quarter net profit. Credit: AP Photo
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Samba Financial Group, Saudi Arabia’s third-largest bank by assets, reported a 10.2 per cent jump in the second quarter net profit amid an increase in contributions from special commissions and a slide in operating expenses.

Net profit climbed to 1.4 billion Saudi riyals (Dh1.37bn) in the three-month period ending June 30, the bank said in a regulatory filing to Saudi stock exchange, where its shares are traded. Total operating income climbed 4.6 per cent to 2.08bn riyals at the end of the second quarter, mainly due to an 11.2 per cent rise in the net special commission income during the period.

Profit for the period came in above the average analysts' estimate of 1.33bn riyals, according to Reuters data, which included SICO Bahrain’s 1.32bn riyals, EFG Hermes’ 1.33bn riyals and NCB Capital’s 1.32bn riyals projections.


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The bank’s income for the first six months of 2018 also climbed  8.1 per cent to 2.71bn riyals from 2.5bn riyals reported at the end of the same period in 2017, Samba said.

The rise came despite a 3.2 per cent decline in the lender’s loans and advances portfolio and a 1.5 per cent slide in its customers’ deposits to 116.6bn riyals and 168.6bn riyals respectively.

Banks and financial institutions in Saudi Arabia and in the broader Arabian Gulf market are expected to perform better this year as economic activity picks up after a three-year oil price slump. Analysts including Moody’s expect the operating conditions to improve and credit growth to return as governments in the region shift focus from austerity to spending amid an uptick in oil prices.

Regional banks will see "slight recovery in loan growth, driven by the corporate segment, and an improvement in spreads quarter-on-quarter," Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes said in its Mena banks second-quarter preview paper published earlier this month.