* Q3 net profit 656 mln riyals vs 630 mln riyals yr-ago
* Results miss average analysts forecasts
* Bank says higher operating earnings hurt profit
(Adds detail, background)
RIYADH, Oct 10 Saudi British Bank (SABB)
posted a 4.1 percent rise in its third quarter net
profit on Wednesday, missing analysts forecasts, as increased
operating expenses hurt earnings growth.
SABB, the kingdom's fourth largest listed bank by market
value and an affiliate of HSBC, posted net earnings of
656 million riyals ($175 million) in the three months ending
September 30, compared with 630 million riyals in the same
period last year.
Nine analysts polled by Reuters had pencilled in profit of,
on average, 815 million riyals.
Net profit in the second quarter was 915 million riyals. In
a statement posted on the bourse website, SABB attributed the
quarterly decline to higher operating expenses. It did not
provide a figure for operating expenses incurred in the quarter.
Total operating profit for the quarter rose 9.6 percent to
1.33 billion riyals, while income from special commissions grew
7.0 percent to 842 million riyals from last year.
Loans and advances at the end of quarter period amounted to
97.8 billion riyals, a rise of 18.8 percent year on year.
Saudi banks are benefiting from expansionary fiscal
policies, ample liquidity and improving corporate loan demand.
Bank lending to the private sector grew by 14 percent in
August over the same month last year, Saudi Arabian Monetary
Authority (SAMA - central bank), said in September.
A report by Credit Suisse in August predicted Saudi banks
should deliver double-digit earnings growth for the next three
years thanks to higher credit volumes.
(Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by Praveen Menon and