Saudi bank Samba Q1 profit dips 1.4pc, meets estimates

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Samba Financial Group, Saudi Arabia’s third-largest bank by assets, reported a 1.4 percent drop in first-quarter net profit on Tuesday, in line with analyst forecasts.
The bank made a profit of 1.26 billion riyals ($336.1 million) in the three months to March 31, down from 1.28 billion riyals in the same period a year earlier, it said in a bourse statement.
Four analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast the bank would make a quarterly net profit of 1.22 billion riyals.
The bank attributed the slight profit drop to lower income from investments, plus reduced trading income and fees from banking
Quarterly operating income fell 2.5 percent year on year to 1.92 billion riyals, although profits from special commissions increased 11 percent over the same timeframe to 1.25 billion riyals, which offset some of the drop in operating
Saudi companies issue brief earnings statements early in the reporting period before publishing more detailed results later.
Analysts expect Saudi banks to feel greater pressure from lower oil prices in 2016 in the form of an increase in bad loans — albeit from low levels — and more modest credit growth.
Loans and advances at March-end were 132.4 billion riyals, up 4.2 percent on the same point of 2015, and deposits rose 6.1 percent to 178.3 billion riyals over the same period.
Samba Financial Group , is a large banking firm in Saudi Arabia. The combined institution had 66 branches in the Kingdom. Its international operations consist of a branch each in London, Qatar and Dubai, as well as a subsidiary that has 28 branches across major cities in Pakistan.
It was established in 1980 with the takeover of Citibank branches in Jeddah and Riyadh. In March 2007, Samba Financial Group acquired 68 percent of Crescent Commercial Bank Limited (CCBL) in Pakistan. CCBL, established in 2002, was formerly known as Mashreq Bank Pakistan Limited, which in turn was the result of the merger in 2003 of Crescent Investment Bank Limited and the Pakistan branches of Mashreq Bank psc. CCBL is now named Samba Bank. It currently operates 28 branches across Pakistan; the bank hopes to expand its network of branches in 2015.
In 2008, Samba opened a branch in Dubai. In August 2011, Samba made the list of top ten safest banks 2011 in the Middle East ranked at number four.

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