NCB, Al Rajhi Bank net profits rise in Q3


JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB), the kingdom’s largest lender, reported a 8.4 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Sunday, helped by a fall in expenses and provisions for bad loans.

The bank made a net profit of SR2.13 billion ($568 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, down from SR1.96 billion in the same period of 2016, it said in a bourse statement.

Earlier on Sunday, Al Rajhi Bank, the kingdom’s second-largest lender by assets, reported a 12.7 percent rise in third-quarter net profit, in line with analysts’ forecasts.

SICO Bahrain forecast NCB would make a quarterly profit of SR2.29 billion.

The bank was helped by a fall in operating expenses and impairment charges for financing and investments.

Banks in the kingdom have been helped by an improvement in liquidity in recent months but analysts have warned that lenders are likely to face a rise in non-performing loans as the economy continues to slow.

Deposits at NCB, which has perhaps the closest links to the government, slipped 2.8 percent year on year to SR302.59 billion at the end of September, continuing the decline in levels seen in the first half of 2017 and 2016. — SG/Reuters