Saudi National Bank’s first-half income rises to $1.72bn amid economic rebound

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The country’s biggest lender by assets, Saudi National Bank (SNB) has reported a rise of more than 12 percent in the first-half net profit on the back of higher operating profit as the kingdom’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

SNB’s net profit for the six months to the end of June climbed to $1.72 billion, according to the bank’s statement to the Tadawul stock exchange, where its shares are traded.

The half-yearly operating profit of the bank climbed more than 31 percent to $3.5 billion driven by a 22.7 percent increase in net income from special commissions, financing and investment activities to $2.66 billion.

Last year, Opec’s biggest oil producer and the world’s largest crude exporter faced tougher operating conditions, when compared to the global peers, as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted economic momentum. However, the Arab world’s largest economy is currently on a recovering path with monetary and fiscal support from the government.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Saudi Arabia’s economy to expand by 2.4 percent this year and 4.8 percent in 2022, driven by a strong rebound in the non-oil sector and investment from its sovereign wealth fund.

The lender which completed its merger with Samba Financial Group said a 57.2 percent increase in its total operating expenses, including those related to the acquisitions and impairments charge for expected credit losses, dented its profitability in the first six months of the year. Earlier, SNB said its second-quarter net income rose 1.3 percent to $0.56 billion. It was over 38 percent lower quarter-on-quarter, on merger costs.

Related: Saudi lenders claim excellent profit growth, amid economic recovery