DUBAI Oct 11 Riyad Bank, Saudi
Arabia's fourth-largest lender by assets, posted an 18.9 percent
fall in third-quarter net profit on Tuesday, missing analysts'
forecasts as costs rose.
The bank made 729 million riyals ($194.4 million) in the
three months to Sept. 30, down from 899 million riyals in the
same period of 2015, it said in a bourse filing.
Five analysts polled by Reuters had on average forecast the
bank's quarterly profit would be 1.05 billion riyals.
The bank cited a 16.3 percent jump in total operating
expenses, as general costs and impairment charges for
The kingdom's banks are struggling as growth in lending and
deposits is dampened by a two-year slump in oil prices, which
has strained government budgets and tightened liquidity.
It was the fifth quarter in the last six in which Riyad Bank
reported either declining or flat profits.
Operating income for the third quarter was flat on the
corresponding period of 2015 at 1.86 billion riyals, while
profits from special commissions increased 4.8 percent to 1.32
Loans and advances at the end of September stood at 152.6
billion riyals, gaining 10.2 percent on the same point of 2015,
while deposits dipped 0.2 percent to 160.8 billion riyals.
(Reporting by David French; Editing by Andrew Torchia)