* Q4 net profit 1.91 bln riyals vs 1.90 bln riyals in 2011
* Misses analysts' average forecast of 1.96 bln riyals
* 2012 net profit 7.89 bln riyals, up 7 pct on 2011
* Cash dividend of 2 riyals per share
(Adds detail, context)
DUBAI, Jan 16 Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi
Arabia's largest listed lender, posted a small rise in
fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday, coming in slightly below
the average forecast of analysts.
The bank made 1.91 billion riyals ($509 million) in the
three months ended December, compared with 1.90 billion riyals
in the same period the year earlier, the bank said in a bourse
filing, equivalent to a 0.6 percent rise year-on-year.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the bank to post 1.96
billion riyals for the fourth quarter.
Al Rajhi attributed the rise in quarterly profit to higher
operating income, which rose 5 percent on the same three-month
period of 2011 to 3.49 billion riyals.
Full-year profit for 2012 was recorded as 7.89 billion
riyals, a 7 percent increase on 2011's 7.38 billion riyals.
Total lending at the end of 2012 stood at 172 billion
riyals, a 23 percent jump on the same point of 2011, while
deposits rose 24 percent over the same timeframe to 221 billion.
Saudi banks have enjoyed successive years of expansionary
government budgets, ample liquidity and improving corporate loan
In a separate bourse statement, Al Rajhi said it would pay a
cash dividend of 2 riyals per share for the second half of 2012,
which represents 20 percent of a share's nominal value.
($1 = 3.7503 Saudi riyals)
(Reporting by David French; Editing by Mark Potter)