DUBAI Oct 17 Saudi Hollandi Bank,
Saudi Arabia's oldest lender, posted a 46.7 percent fall in
third-quarter net profit on Monday, widely missing analysts
forecasts as it was forced to set aside cash to cover an
increase in bad loans.
The lender made a profit of 262.8 million riyals ($70.1
million) in the three months to Sept. 30, down from 493.0
million riyals in the corresponding quarter of 2015, according
to a bourse filing.
Three analysts polled by Reuters had forecast on average
Saudi Hollandi would make a quarterly profit of 506.4 million
The bank cited a 67.6 percent rise in total operating
expenses for the lower earnings, mainly due to an increase in
This offset a 3.6 percent increase in total operating income
to 911.2 million riyals, which was boosted by a 9.6 percent gain
in profit from special commissions to 664.1 million riyals.
Saudi banks are struggling as cheap oil cuts state revenues
and forces the government into expenditure cuts, weighing on
consumer spending and business activity, while pushing up bad
The bank's loans portfolio stood at 77.26 billion riyals at
the end of September, 5.1 percent higher than the same point of
2015, according to the statement, while its deposit base gained
1.5 percent year on year to 84.2 billion riyals.
($1 = 3.7495 riyals)
(Reporting by Tom Arnold; Editing by David French)