RIYADH, (Reuters) – Banque Saudi Fransi 1050.SE, the Saudi Arabian affiliate of France’s Credit Agricole, said first-quarter profit rose 6.3 percent after lending more in the world’s largest oil exporter.
The kingdom’s fifth-largest lender by market value, the bank made a profit of 733 million riyals ($195.5 million), or 1.3 riyals per share, in the three months to March 31, compared with 689 million riyals, or 1.23 riyals per share, in the year-earlier period, it said in a statement on the Saudi bourse Web site.
Loans advanced 34 percent to 68 billion riyals, and deposits 20 percent to 78 billion riyals, it said. Operating income climbed 12 percent to 1.03 billion riyals, led by a 32 percent rise in net lending income.
“This was the result of an increase in loans and borrowing ratios,” the bank said. It did not give more details.
Riyadh-based KSB Capital had forecast the bank, of which Credit Agricole owns 31.1 percent, would make a first-quarter profit of 698 million riyals.
Saudi Fransi shares had fallen almost 28 percent this year to Sunday’s close, compared with 16 percent for the main stock index .TASI. The stock was up 2.1 percent at 0909 GMT.