The bank reported a profit of SR906m ($241.6m) for the three months to 30 June, compared to SR848m for the same period in 2007. Loans grew by 44 per cent during the period compared with a 23 increase in deposits.

“These earnings confirm the bank’s continuing drive towards focusing and expanding core banking activities, and developing assets,” says the bank.

The results indicate that the Saudi banking sector is recovering from the stock market crash of 2006 and the subsequent reduction in brokerage activities.

Riyad Bank is the first of the Saudi banks to report its results for the second quarter of 2008.