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Wed 14 Jan 2015 06:05 PM

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Saudi British Bank posts small drop in Q4 net profit

Affiliate of HSBC Holdings makes net profit of more than $258m but misses analyst forecasts

Saudi British Bank posts small drop in Q4 net profit
Saudi British Bank is an affiliate of HSBC Holdings.

Saudi British Bank (SABB), the kingdom's sixth-largest bank by assets, posted a 0.6 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday, missing analyst forecasts as operating expenses rose.

The bank, an affiliate of HSBC Holdings, made a profit of 969.4 million riyals ($258.3 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, according to a bourse statement. This compares with a profit of 975.5 million riyals in the same period a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average forecast the bank would make a quarterly profit of 1.04 billion riyals.

The bank attributed its drop in net profit to a rise in operating expenses, but did not elaborate.

Saudi companies issue brief earnings statements early in the reporting period before publishing more detailed results later.

SABB's net profit for 2014 was 4.27 billion riyals, up 13 percent on 2013, which it attributed to higher operating income.

The bank in December recommended a cash dividend of 1.05 riyals per share for 2014, slightly higher than the 1 riyals per share it paid for 2013.

Loans and advances at the end of December stood at 115.22 billion riyals, gaining 8.6 percent from a year earlier, while deposits rose 5 percent to 145.87 billion riyals over the same period.

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