UPDATE 1-Banque Saudi Fransi Q4 net profit jumps on higher operating income

Mon Jan 7, 2013 9:00am EST

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RIYADH, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF), the lender part-owned by Credit Agricole, posted a 22.2 percent jump in its fourth-quarter net profit citing higher operating income, it said in a bourse statement on Monday.

The kingdom's fifth-largest bank by market capitalisation said it made 808 million riyals ($215.5 million) in the three months ending December 31 compared with 661 million riyals in the same period a year earlier.

Saudi banks have enjoyed successive years of expansionary government budgets, ample liquidity and improving corporate loan demand.

Last week, the world's top oil exporter announced its 2012 budget surplus reached 14.2 percent of gross domestic product and said its spending plan in 2013 was 19 percent higher than last year.

NCB Capital, the investment banking arm of unlisted National Commercial Bank, said in a Jan. 5 note it expected sector-wide growth in Q4 net profit of 12.8 percent year-on-year.

Saudi banks typically do not give detailed explanations for earnings performances until later in the reporting cycle.

BSF's 2012 net profit was 3 billion riyals compared to 2.9 billion riyals in 2011, the statement added.

The bank said its operating profit for the fourth quarter rose 16.1 percent on the year to 1.29 billion riyals.

Profits from special commissions during 2012 rose 5.4 percent to 3.31 billion riyals, while total assets were 12.9 percent higher, at 158 billion riyals, on Dec. 31 2012 than they were a year earlier.

The bank said its loans and advances portfolio also grew by 12 percent over the year to reach 103 billion riyals by the end of December.

($1 = 3.7502 Saudi riyals) (Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by David French)

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