Saudi National Bank third quarter profit jumps 20% on higher commissions

The Saudi National Bank, the country’s largest lender by assets, announced a 20% increase in third-quarter net profit thanks to higher operating profit as the kingdom’s economy continues to rebound after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Net profit for the three months to the end of September climbed to 3.8 billion riyals ($ 1 billion), the lender said in a declaration Sunday at the Tadawul Stock Exchange, where its shares are traded.

Operating profit during the period jumped 38% to 7.8 billion riyals, driven by a 45% increase in net income from special commissions, financing and investing activities, which increased. amounted to 6 billion riyals.

Like other lenders around the world, Saudi Arabian banks faced tougher operating conditions in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted trade and plunged the global economy into deep recession .

However, the Arab world’s largest economy, which is also OPEC’s largest oil producer and the world’s largest exporter of crude, has rebounded thanks to government monetary and fiscal support.

The International Monetary Fund expects Saudi Arabia’s economy to grow 2.8% this year, after contracting 4.1% last year, due to rising oil prices and investments from its sovereign wealth fund.

The SNB, which completed its merger with Samba Financial Group, said its total operating expenses, including write-downs, increased 72.2 percent during the period, mainly due to an “increase from [the] net impairment charge for expected credit losses, other general and administrative costs, salaries and personnel costs ”, among others.

Earlier this month, Fitch revised the outlook for all Saudi banks to stable from negative, and confirmed their credit ratings to “BBB +,” which is the highest of the six-member block of the Cooperation Council. of the Gulf.

“The pressures on the operating environment from the pandemic have eased, aided by the recovery in oil prices, strong credit growth and the resumption of economic activity,” said Amin Sakhri, director of Fitch Ratings , in the latest peer review note on Saudi Arabian banks.

Updated: October 24, 2021 08:27

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