Saudi Arabia’s largest bank NCB posts 20 pct. jump in Q3 profit

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Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank (NCB) posted a 20 percent jump in its third quarter profit on Thursday, boosted by higher operating income and as certain expenses fell.

The country’s largest bank reported a profit of 2.55 billion riyals in the three months ending September 30, from 2.12 billion riyals, a year earlier. Total revenue from special commissions rose nearly 5 percent to 4.93 billion riyals.

“The results show that NCB has been able to keep rates pressure at bay and credit quality is relatively stable,” EFG-Hermes analyst Shabbir Malik said in a note.

The Jeddah-based lender, which posted a near 6 percent rise in its total operating income, said the increase was mainly due to an “increase in net special commission income, investment related income and lower other operating (expense)”

NCB’s spreads - the difference between the interest rate that a bank charges and the rate a bank pays a depositor - “held up well” at 3.2 percent as higher yield offset a rise in cost of funds, Malik said.

Total operating expenses including one-time charges were higher by 1.4 percent in the third quarter, the company said in a statement.

NCB's shares rose marginally to 45.10 riyals on the Saudi Stock Exchange.

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