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Al Rajhi Bank Q1 net profit rises 33pc

KSA Business

Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia's second-largest lender by assets, reported a 32.8 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Sunday, beating analyst forecasts as it cut wage costs and fee income increased.

The bank made a profit of SR2.02 billion ($538.7 million) in the three months to March 31, up from SR1.52 billion in the same period a year earlier, it said in a bourse statement.

Six analysts surveyed by Reuters had on average forecast the bank's quarterly profit would be SR1.84 billion.

Al Rajhi said its profit rise was mainly due to higher fee income and increased financing and investment income. Total operating expenses also fell by 11.9 percent because of a reduced wage bill and lower general costs, it said.

Quarterly operating income rose 8 percent versus the corresponding period of 2015 to SR3.7 billion, while profit from special commissions increased 4.5 percent over the same timeframe to SR2.57 billion.

Loans and advances at the end of March stood at SR216.4 billion, up 5.5 percent on the same point of 2015, while deposits dipped 1.4 percent to SR264.8 billion over the same period. - Reuters

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