March 4, 2018 / 2:41 PM / in 5 months

Banque Saudi Fransi Q4 profit rises 13 pct, misses forecasts

RIYADH, March 4 (Reuters) - Banque Saudi Fransi, the Kingdom’s fifth-largest lender by assets, posted a 13.1 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday, missing some forecasts.

The bank, partly owned by Credit Agricole, made a net profit of 423 million riyals ($113 million) in the three months to Dec. 31, compared with 374 million riyals in the same period of 2016, it said in a bourse statement.

Three analysts surveyed by Reuters had on average forecast the bank would make a quarterly profit of 854.41 riyals.

The bank attributed the net profit increase to 4.25 percent higher total operating income.

By end-2017, customer deposits reached 150.95 billion riyals, down 4.74 percent year-over-year, while loan and advances fell 5.81 percent to 121.94 billion riyals.

In a separate statement, the bank said its board recommended paying a cash dividend of 0.35 riyals per share for the second half of 2017. ($1 = 3.7505 riyals) (Reporting by Marwa Rashad Editing by Alexander Smith)

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