Banque Saudi Fransi Q4 net profit slumps 66 pct on higher costs

DUBAI Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:11am EST

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DUBAI Jan 13 (Reuters) - Banque Saudi Fransi, the lender part-owned by Credit Agricole, posted a 66.1 percent slump in its fourth-quarter net profit, citing higher operating expenses.

The kingdom's fifth-largest bank by market value made 274 million riyals ($73.1 million) in the three months ending Dec. 31, compared with 808 million riyals in the same period a year earlier, it said in a bourse statement on Monday.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the bank to post an average net profit of 771.3 million riyals for the quarter.

The bank didn't provide any other details relating to what caused the higher expenses. Saudi companies issue brief earnings statements early in the reporting period before publishing more detailed results later.

Profit for 2013 was hit as a result of the quarterly decline. The bank's net profit dropped 20.2 percent over the previous year to 2.41 billion riyals. ($1 = 3.7505 Saudi riyals) (Reporting by David French; Editing by Dinesh Nair)

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