Saudi’s Riyad Bank Q4 profit rises 39 percent

Riyad Bank, Saudi Arabia’s fourth-largest lender by assets, reported a 39 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Wednesday, according to Reuters calculations, beating analysts’ forecasts.

The bank, which is in merger talks with larger rival National Commercial Bank, made 1.35 billion riyals ($360 million) in the three months to December 31, up from 974 million riyals in the year earlier period, Reuters calculated from financial statements in the absence of a quarterly breakdown.

Three analysts on average forecast the bank would make a quarterly profit of 1.17 billion riyals, according to Refinitiv data.

For the year, the bank made a profit of 4.72 billion riyals, up from 3.95 billion riyals in the year earlier. Profit rose thanks to higher net special commission income, fee and commission income, as well as net and exchange income. That was partially offset by a decrease in gains on non-trading investments.

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