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Saudi National Bank Reports Strong Q1 Earnings

PARIS, France - Saudi National Bank (SNB), the kingdom's biggest bank by assets, reported a nearly 12% increase in net profit for the first quarter from the same period a year ago on higher fees and gains from investments. The bank had earlier announced that the 79% fall in the carrying value of its investment in Swiss lender Credit Suisse in the first quarter, to 1.3 billion riyals ($346.63 million), would not affect profitability.

SNB reported a net profit of just over 5 billion riyals ($1.34 billion) in the three months to March 31, up from 4.5 billion riyals in the prior-year period. That beat an analyst's estimate of 4.8 billion riyals, according to Refinitiv data. Operating income rose almost 8% in the first quarter to 8.7% billion riyals, driven by an increase in income from special commissions, and financing and investments, which were up almost 11% year on year.

The bank's overall balance sheet grew by 3% from the end of December 2022, and customer deposits rose 8% in the first quarter, although were only about 0.7% higher year on year. Total provisions for expected credit and other losses rose to 439 million riyals in the first quarter, an increase of almost 28% from same period last year, but almost 200% higher than the previous quarter. It did not give a reason for the increase.

SNB said that while the decline in its Credit Suisse investment led to a decline in equity of 3.1 billion riyals during the first quarter, there would be no impact on its income statement, as per accounting standards. The bank invested 5.5. billion riyals for a 9.88 percent stake in Credit Suisse last year.



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