Saudi lender Samba beats estimates with 7 pct Q2 net profit rise

DUBAI, July 13 Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:31am EDT

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DUBAI, July 13 (Reuters) - Samba Financial Group, Saudi Arabia's third-largest bank by assets, posted a 7 percent increase in its second-quarter net profit, it said in a bourse statement on Sunday, beating analyst forecasts.

The bank said it made 1.26 billion riyals ($336 million) in the three months ending June 30, compared with 1.18 billion riyals in the same period a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the bank to post an average net profit of 1.19 billion riyals for the quarter.

The bank attributed its gain in net profit to higher operating income - which rose 5 percent year-on-year to 1.84 billion riyals - without elaborating.

Saudi companies issue brief earnings statements early in the reporting period before publishing more detailed results later.

Loans and advances at the end of June stood at 122.2 billion riyals, gaining 12.1 percent on the same point of 2013, while deposits rose 4.9 percent to 163.6 billion riyals over the same period.

Samba's board of directors proposed earlier this month a cash dividend of 0.65 riyals per share for the first half of 2014, a slight increase year-on-year. ($1 = 3.7502 Saudi Riyals) (Reporting by David French; Editing by Nadia Saleem)