DUBAI Oct 12 Banque Saudi Fransi, a
lender part-owned by France's Credit Agricole, on
Wednesday posted a 1 percent drop in third-quarter net profit,
broadly in line with analyst forecasts, as costs rose.
The fifth-largest Saudi bank made a profit of 1.01 billion
riyals ($269.4 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30,
compared with 1.02 billion riyals in the same period a year
earlier, it said in a bourse statement.
Five analysts surveyed by Reuters had on average forecast
the bank would make a quarterly profit of 1.04 billion riyals.
Banque Saudi Fransi, which had reported rising profits for
the previous 10 quarters, attributed its diminished earnings
performance in the third quarter to a 6.6 percent increase in
total operating expenses.
This offset an 8.8 percent rise in income from special
commissions to 1.14 billion riyals, as well as a 1.8 percent
gain in total operating income to 1.62 billion riyals.
($1 = 3.7495 riyals)
(Reporting by David French; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)