Saudi's Riyad Bank posts 5.9% rise in Q2 net profit

Gulf kingdom's third-largest lender says increase due to cuts in costs during second quarter

Riyad Bank, Saudi Arabia's third-largest lender by market value, has posted a 5.9 percent rise in its second-quarter net profit due to a slight rise in operating income and cuts in costs.

The bank said it made SR968m ($258.09m) in the three months ending June 30, compared with SR914m in the same period a year earlier.

Net profit for the first six months of 2013 was SR1.92bn, up from SR1.82bn from the corresponding period of 2012. Operating income for the quarter rose by 0.67 percent to SR1.82bn.

The kingdom's second largest branch network makes Riyad Bank well placed to benefit from expected growth of mortgage lending, although its net profit in the next 3-4 quarters may be restrained by higher provisioning, Global Investment House said in a report last month.

The lender said last month it would distribute dividends for the first half of the year worth 975 million riyals - equivalent to 0.65 riyals per share. The amount was the same as in 2012.

Thursday's figures showed total assets at the end of June were SR191.63bn, 6.1 percent higher than the same point of 2012.

Customer deposits gained 7.9 percent from a year earlier and stood at SR147.9bn on June 30. Loans and advances at the end of June stood at SR126.2bn, up 9.6 percent on the same point of 2012.

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