By Asma Alsharif
Q4 profit rise defies predictions by analysts, who forecast quarterly earnings $60m to $13m less.
Saudi based Riyad Bank said its fourth quarter net profit rose 72.4 percent to $243 million, beating analysts' forecasts.
Riyad Bank, the third largest listed Saudi bank market capitalisation, made $243.21 million in the three months till the end of December, up from $141 million a year earlier, the bank said in a statement posted on the bourse's website.
Analysts' forecast of the bank's quarterly earnings ranged from $183.48 million to $230.41 million in a Reuters survey issued this month.
Operating profit for the fourth quarter rose 2.9 percent to $426.7 million, the statement said.
Loans grew by 10.5 percent to $28.53 billion compared to $25.60 billion last year.
Income from special fees - the equivalent of net income from lending - increased 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter to $282.68 million.
Deposits grew 19.2 percent to $33.33 billion. (Reuters)