Banque Saudi Fransi posts fall in profit

26 April 2010

Saudi bank hit by slowdown in lending income

Saudi Arabia’s Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) recorded a profit of SR714m ($190.4m) in the first quarter of the year, a 3.6 per cent decline from the SR741 million in the same period a year earlier.

The bank, in which French Calyon holds a 31.1 per cent stake, has been hit by a decline in lending income.

The bank’s operating income fell 0.6 per cent to SR1.07bn after lending income dropped 5.7 per cent to SR723m.

Meanwhile, the bank’s loans portfolio fell 1.2 per cent to SR80bn, while deposits fell 4.3 per cent to SR88bn.

Profits at most Saudi banks have come under pressure from flat credit growth as lenders have been cautious about extending loans during the financial crisis.

BSF also raised provisions by 51 per cent to SR1.28bn in 2009 to cover bad loans, which rose 32.2 per cent to SR1.01bn.

Earnings per share fell to SR0.99 in the first quarter from SR1.02 in the same period in 2009.

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