Growth in the Saudi Arabian bank market is not showing any signs of slowing as financial institutions begin to post their full-year results for 2014.
Riyad Bank has posted a net profit of SR4.35bn ($1.20bn), an increase of 10.3 per cent compared with 2014. The final quarter of 2014 saw net profits rise to SR1.06bn, an increase of almost 3 per cent compared with the previous quarter.
Saudi Hollandi Bank posted an increase of more than 20 per cent, compared to 2013, with full-year profits reaching SR1.82bn last year.
Both banks saw their assets rise. Riyad Banks assets grew to SR214.6bn, marking an increase of 4.5 per cent compared with the previous year. Saudi Hollandi Banks assets rose by 20 per cent to reach SR96.6bn last year.
Lending activity also increased, with Riyad Bank growing its loan book by a marginal 1.8 per cent in 2014 compared with the previous year. Saudi Hollandi Bank increased its lending and advances by 22.4 per cent.
Both institutions results reflect the growing strength of the wider Saudi Arabian banking market.
The kingdoms banks continue to be highly liquid and in growth mode, with their results benefiting from reduced provisioning costs and low impairment charges.
Despite low oil prices, Saudi Arabia is still planning high levels of investment, with the 2015 budget allocating SR278bn of investment spending designed to stimulate the economy.
However, Saudi Arabia is projecting a fiscal deficit for 2015, the first deficit since 2011.