Saudi National Bank (SNB), the country’s biggest lender, posted a 20.3 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Monday with lower impairments and higher fees, in a sign that the economy has been recovering from last year’s pandemic lockdowns.
SNB reported a net profit of 3.4 billion riyals ($907 million) for the quarter that ended on March 31, up from 2.8 billion riyals in the same period a year earlier.
EFG Hermes had forecast a net profit of 3.9 billion riyals.
The Saudi bank said total operating income increased by 8.8 percent mainly due to higher net special commission income, investment related income and higher fees from banking services.
SNB was created after the merger of Saudi Arabia’s biggest lender National Commercial Bank and Samba Financial Group.
Rating agency Moody’s said this month the merger would increase the group’s resilience against current operating environment pressures on the back of moderate oil prices, spread of coronavirus and reduced government spending.