Saudi bank Saib back in black - Emirates24|7

Saudi bank Saib back in black

Majority of Saudi banks had to book higher provisions all of last year (FILE)

Saudi Investment Bank (Saib) made a net profit of 238 million riyals ($63.5 million) in the fourth quarter after posting a loss a year earlier, the latest upbeat bank earnings in the biggest Arab economy.

Profit from special commissions or lending income rose 20 per cent to 324 million riyals in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier, the bank said statement on the bourse website on Saturday. The bank had suffered a net loss of 109 million riyals in the fourth quarter of 2009, it said.

The lender did not say whether it booked provisions for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Fourth-quarter operational income reached 412 million riyals, down 12 percent from a year earlier.

Saudi Investment Bank had booked 434.6 million riyals in provisions for loan losses in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The majority of Saudi banks had to book higher provisions all of last year to cover possible loan losses linked to debt defaults by some troubled family-owned Saudi firms.

But three lenders posted fourth-quarter results above forecasts on Wednesday. They made no reference to provisions but analysts said they had put aside enough in previous quarters.

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