RIYADH, (Reuters) – Al-Jazira Bank’s second-quarter profit plunged almost 69 percent after a stock market crash in Saudi Arabia slashed fee income at the kingdom’s largest broker.
Net profit in the three months to June 30 was 207.3 million riyals ($55.3 million), compared with 664 million riyals in the year-earlier period and 302 million riyals in the first quarter of this year, the bank said in a statement on the Saudi bourse’s Web site on Saturday.
The second-quarter earnings were below analysts forecasts in a Reuters survey last month, which ranged from 224.7 to 249.9 million riyals.
Brokerage commissions netted 362.2 million riyals in the six months to June 30, down 71 percent percent from the first half of 2006, the bank said.
Saudi Arabia’s main stock market index tumbled 63.1 percent in the 18 months to June 30. The benchmark was the worst performer last year of 81 measured by U.S. stock market research company Birinyi Associates.
Al-Jazira makes about 70 percent of its income from brokerage commission, excluding interest payments, research firm KSB Capital Group said. It controls 26 percent of the Saudi market for brokerage fees.