Samba Financial Group, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest listed bank, posted a flat third-quarter net profit on Tuesday, coming in slightly below the average forecast of analysts.
The bank said in a bourse filing it made 1.17 billion riyals ($312 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, compared with 1.16 billion riyals in the same period of last year, attributing the marginal rise to a 3 percent gain in operating income.
Ten analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast it would, on average, post a net profit for the quarter of 1.2 billion riyals.
Samba’s loans portfolio climbed 15.9 percent on the same point last year to 113.7 billion riyals at the end of September, in line with the 15 percent year-on-year growth in bank lending to private companies noted by the central bank in its August data.
Deposits grew by 8.3 percent year-on-year to reach 155.2 billion riyals at the end of the third quarter.
Moody’s said on Tuesday the outlook for the Saudi banking system remained stable, with low problem loan levels, strong loss-absorption capacity of banks, and the benefits of low-cost deposit-based funding counterbalanced by competitive pressures on lending margins and some corporate sector weakness. ($1 = 3.7503 Saudi riyals)