Saudi banks report stable performance in first half 2002
Saudi Arabia’s nine listed commercial banks reported a minor drop in their overall profits for the first six months of financial year 2002. The combined net income of the banks reached 4.157 billion Saudi riyals ($1.1 billion) at the end of June 2002, dropping one percent compared to the same period the previous year, according to a recently released report by the Alahli National Commercial Bank (NCB).
At the same time, the total assets of the nine listed Saudi banks rose 6.4 percent to SR382.6 billion, versus SR359.7 billion in the first half term of financial year 2001. While high oil prices and low interest rates stood behind the significant bottom line growth reported by most banks during the six-months term, two institutions—the Saudi American Bank (SAMBA) and Al-Rajhi posted a considerable net profits drop.
Although SAMBA’s bottom line fell 13.1 percent to SR963 million in 1H02, the bank managed to retain its status as the kingdom’s largest financial institution in terms of net profits and total assets, which amounted to SR76.2 billion. Al-Rajhi Bank, the third largest listed bank, displayed the poorest half-annual performance, with its net profits plummeting 31.3 percent to SR611.5 million.
The most impressive half-annual performance was the Arab National Bank’s (ANB), whose net profits hiked nearly 30 percent to SR302 million. Other medium-sized banks—Saudi British Bank (SABB), Al-Bank Al-Saudi Al-Fransi (BSF) and Saudi Hollandi Bank (SHB)—also registered significant profit growth during the first half of 2002, rising by 15.2 percent, 25.6 percent and 17.2 percent, respectively.
The smallest of the Kingdom’s nine listed commercial banks, Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) and Bank Al-Jazira (BAJ), posted a notable 21.5 and a 10.6 percent net income rise, respectively.
Riyad Bank, the second largest in terms of net profits, recorded the slowest growth, with its total consolidated profits rising by 9.4 percent to SR764 million between January and June-end 2002, the NCB report indicated. The bank’s total assets rose a slight 1.1 percent to SR67.6 billion in the first half of this year. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)