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Sat 10 Jul 2010 10:42 PM

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Banque Saudi Fransi second quarter profit rises 9.4%

Net income increased to $202m from $184.5m a year earlier, beating analyst estimates.

Banque Saudi Fransi second quarter profit rises 9.4%
QUARTER PROFIT: Banque Saudi Fransi said that second quarter profit rose 9.4% as lending grew, helping an increase in operating income. (Getty Images)

Banque Saudi Fransi, the Saudi lender part owned by Credit Agricole, said second quarter profit rose 9.4 percent as lending grew, helping an increase in operating income.

Net income increased to $202 million, from $184.5 million a year earlier, the bank said in a statement on the Saudi bourse website today. That beat the $189.6 million estimate of four analysts.

Banks in the Arab world’s largest economy had been reluctant to resume lending even after the central bank cut interest rates and the government announced in late 2008 a $400 billion spending program to restart the economy.

Lending to businesses rose in May at the fastest pace in nine months, indicating a gradual return of credit availability, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, said on its website on June 27.

Banque Saudi Fransi loans increased 1.2 percent to $21.8 billion, while customer deposits rose 2.2 percent to $24.5 billion, the bank said in the statement.

The shares gained 0.7 percent to $11.49 in Riyadh, giving the company a market value of $8.32 billion. The stock climbed 5.9 percent this year.

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