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Saudi Investment Bank Profit Beats Estimates as Net Soars 67%

Saudi Investment Bank reported a 67 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, topping analysts’ estimates, as operating income increased and expenses dropped.

Net income climbed to 245.6 million riyals ($65 million), from 147.4 million riyals in the year earlier period, the Riyadh-based bank said in a statement to the Saudi stock market today. The mean estimate of three analysts was for profit of 223 million riyals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Acceleration in loan growth has been a key area of positive surprise,” Murad Ansari, an analyst at EFG Hermes Saudi Arabia, said today in an e-mailed response to questions. “Non-interest income has jumped sharply, which along with the fall in provisioning costs,” boosted profit, he said.

The bank, which posted a 26 percent increase in net lending from a year earlier, is the latest Saudi lender to post an increase in fourth quarter profit. Saudi Hollandi Bank reported a 36 percent gain in earnings, while Bank Albilad had a 46 percent rise. Banque Saudi Fransi’s fourth-quarter net income rose to 808 million riyals, from 661 million a year earlier.

Saudi Investment Bank shares climbed 12 percent in 2012 compared with a 6 percent increase for the benchmark Tadawul All Share Index.

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