* Three major Saudi banks beat analyst forecasts
* Rising profits due to lower costs, increased income
* Banque Saudi Fransi, SABB Bank miss forecasts
By Asma Alsharif
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Oct 12 Five major Saudi
banks posted third-quarter net profits, three of which beat
analysts forecasts, citing lower operational costs as well as
increased income from banking fees and investments, the lenders
said on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia's biggest Islamic Bank, Al Rajhi Bank
posted an 18-percent rise in its third-quarter net profit to 1.9
billion riyals ($506 million) from 1.6 billion, attributing the
rise in profit to higher revenue from banking fees and
Al Rajhi's operational profit rose 7.6 percent to 3.2
billion riyals from 2.97 billion riyals a year earlier.
Analysts, surveyed by Reuters, had expected the bank to post
an average third-quarter net profit of 1.8 billion riyals.
Another lender, Saudi Hollandi Bank saw its
third-quarter net profit more than triple to 299 million riyals
from 85 million, after it lowered its operational costs, the
Analysts polled by Reuters expected the bank to post, on
average, a third-quarter net profit of 244.5 million riyals.
Saudi Hollandi, the kingdom's oldest bank, had a 5.1 percent
rise in its profit from special commissions to 359.8 million
riyals but its operational profit dropped 0.6 percent to 521
million, it said.
Meanwhile, Aljazira Bank tripled its third-quarter
net profit to 66 million riyals, up from 22 million during the
same period a year ago, citing lower operational costs.
Five analysts in a Reuters survey expected the bank to post,
on average 55 million riyals in net profit for the third
SABB Bank posted a 50.4-percent-rise in its
quarterly profits but still missed analyst forecasts. SABB made
a net profit of 630 million riyals in the third-quarter,
compared with 419 million riyals in the same period a year
The lender cited lower operation costs for its rise in
SABB's income from special commissions dropped 1.6 percent
to 787 million riyals in the third-quarter from 800 million
riyals in the same period a year earlier, while its operational
profit rose 4.5 percent to 1.2 billion from 1.16 billion, it
The fifth bank, Banque Saudi Fransi missed analyst
forecasts after it posted a 22-percent-rise in its quarterly
profit. It made 760 million riyals in the third quarter,
compared with 621 million riyals in the same period a year
Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the bank to post a
third-quarter net profit, averaging 766 million riyals.
Saudi Fransi's operational profit rose 7.4 percent to 1.2
billion riyals from 1.1 billion riyals a year earlier and its
profit from special commissions rose 3.9 percent to 808 million
riyals from 778 million riyals.
(Reporting by Asma Alsharif)