Saudi banks profts fall 12.6% in Oct-Nov

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Profits generated by Saudi commercial banks, including the 11 listed ones, fell 12.6 percent in the October-November period, central bank data showed on Monday ahead of fourth quarter earnings announcements.

Excluding branches abroad, Saudi banks made a profit of SR3.94bn ($1.05bn) during the period, according to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency's (SAMA) website.

SAMA did not indicate if the data related to net profit and described it only as cumulative profit. Saudi-listed firms were due to start publishing fourth-quarter earnings next month.

The SAMA data showed that cumulative profit of Saudi banks stood at SR8.25bn in the first quarter of 2009, SR7.92bn in the second quarter and SR7.05bn during the third quarter.

For the fourth quarter of last year, Saudi banks -- including non-listed National Commercial Bank (NCB) -- made a net profit of about SR4.4bn, according SAMA's data.

Profits at most Saudi banks have come under presure this year from exposure to some troubled Saudi conglomerates and also to flat credit growth as lenders remained cautious about dealing with corporates due to the global slowdown.

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