July 25, 2018 / 7:29 AM / 20 days ago

Saudi bank SABB says Q2 profit rises 26.8 pct, beats forecasts

DUBAI, July 25 (Reuters) - Saudi British Bank (SABB), an affiliate of HSBC Holdings, beat forecasts with a 26.8 percent rise in second-quarter net profit on Wednesday helped by lower provisions.

The kingdom’s sixth largest bank by assets made 1.43 billion riyals ($380 million) in the three months to June 30, up from 1.13 billion a year earlier, it said in a bourse filing.

That topped the 1.12 billion riyals expected by three analysts polled by Reuters.

Operating income rose 4.4 percent on higher net special commission income while operating expenses fell 33.7 percent on lower provisions for credit losses.

Loans and advances stood at 113.36 billion riyals at the end of June, down 3.8 percent from a year earlier. Deposits fell 3.9 percent to 132.93 billion riyals.

SABB, 40 percent owned by HSBC, and Saudi lender Alawwal Bank, 40 percent owned by Royal Bank of Scotland , in May agreed to merge.

The $5 billion deal will create Saudi Arabia’s third-biggest lender.

Reporting by Tom Arnold; editing by Jason Neely

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