Saudi's Samba posts 7.8% fall in Q4 profit

Kingdom's second largest bank reports $231m net profit for three months to end-December

Samba Financial Group, Saudi Arabia's second-largest listed bank, posted a 7.8 percent fall in fourth quarter net profit, missing analyst expectations as its income from special commissions declined.

The lender's net profit fell to SR869m ($231.7m) in the last three months of 2012, from SR943m in the last quarter of 2011, it said in a bourse statement Wednesday.

Nine analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast Samba would have net profit of SR1.1bn for the fourth quarter.

The bank attributed the decline in profits to lower income from special commissions, which fell 5.4 percent to SR1bn, from SR1.1bn for the same quarter in 2011.

Total operating income for the fourth quarter fell 3.6 percent to SR1.45bn from SR1.5bn in the same period a year earlier.

Samba's loans and advances portfolio climbed 18 percent to SR105bn from SR89bn in the same period a year earlier.

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