DUBAI, April 12 Banque Saudi Fransi, a
lender part-owned by Credit Agricole, posted a 2.4
percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday, beating
analysts' forecasts as operating income and special commission
income both rose.
The bank, the fifth-largest by assets in the kingdom, made a
profit of about 1.10 billion riyals ($293.3 million) in the
three months ending March 31, compared with 1.08 billion riyals
in the same period a year earlier, it said in a bourse
Three analysts surveyed by Reuters had on average forecast
the bank would make a quarterly profit of 949.2 million riyals.
Banque Saudi Fransi attributed its improved earnings
performance in the quarter to a 3.2 percent rise in total
operating income as income from net special commission, trading
and gains and non-trading investments went up.
Earlier on Wednesday, Saudi British Bank (SABB),
the kingdom's sixth-largest lender by assets, posted a 9.3
percent drop in first-quarter net profit, meeting analysts'
forecasts as operating expenses rose.
Credit Agricole has picked JPMorgan to
advise it on a potential sale of its 31 percent stake in Banque
Saudi Fransi, valued at nearly $2.4 billion, sources familiar
with the deal told Reuters last month.
($1 = 3.7502 riyals)
(Reporting By Tom Arnold; editing by Saeed Azhar)