RIYADH, (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Al-Rajhi Bank 1120.SE, the largest Gulf Arab bank by market value, posted a third-quarter profit rise on higher income from lending and investment banking services.
The bank made 1.76 billion riyals ($468.5 million) in the three months to Sept. 30 up 3.7 percent from 1.69 billion riyals in the year earlier period, it said in a statement posted on the bourse’s web site.
Analysts’ forecasts for the third quarter ranged from 1.75 billion riyals to 1.84 billion riyals, according to a Reuters survey last month.
Rajhi’s net investment income — the equivalent of net income from lending in traditional banking — rose 7 percent in the third quarter to 2.14 billion riyals.
Banking services income rose 28 percent to 568 million riyals, it said, without giving details.
Earnings per share at the end of the first nine months of this year were 3.4 riyals, up from 3.25 riyals a year earlier, it added.
The bank raised its paid-up capital by 11.1 percent earlier this year through a bonus share issue.
“The bank has…succeeded in diversifying sources of revenues and in developing investment and corporate banking sectors hand in hand with expanding retail banking activities,” Chief Executive Abdullah Sulaiman al-Rajhi said in the statement.
Banks in the world’s largest oil exporter have moved away from relying on income related to stock market activities since the 2006 crash. The Saudi bourse is the Gulf region’s worst performer this year.
Shares of Al-Rajhi are down more than 32 percent so far this year, but better than a 36.4 percent fall of the banking and financial benchmark index .TBFSI and almost in line with the the main stock index .TASI.
Rajhi said gross operating income in the nine months to Sept. 30 rose 14 percent to 7.91 billion riyals and net profit for the same period rose 5 percent to 5.1 billion riyals.