Alawwal Bank, one of Saudi Arabia’s oldest lenders, said its board has recommended not to distribute dividend to shareholders for fiscal year 2016.

The bank, which swung to a quarterly loss, said the resolution by the board, which will be discussed at the shareholders assembly “is to support the bank’s financial position and future plans,” according to its statement Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) where its shares are traded.

Alawwal last week reported a fourth-quarter net loss of SR249.34m ($66.46m), down from a profit of SR451m reported for the same period in 2015. Its full-year income also slumped 47.35 per cent to SR1.06bn, according to its bourse filing.

“Losses were due to higher total operating expenses, which increased by 181.54 per cent, mainly due to increase in impairment charge for credit losses and general and administrative expenses,” the lender said in the statement.

The lender is among several banks in Saudi Arabia, that have reported decline in profitability amid mounting cost of operation as the credit losses rise and asset quality deteriorates. Banks in region are also expected to faced further headwinds as their financial profiles weaken further this year and next on the back of softer economic environment, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s.