Profits of Saudi banks rise 8.4% in 2012 to USD8.92b: SAMA

05 Feb 2013

(MENAFN) The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) announced that banks in the Kingdom posted a combined profit of USD8.92 billion last year, higher by 8.4 percent from 2011, reported Emirates 24/7.

The central bank said that the figure is the second highest since 2006, when profits hit a record USD9.21 billion.

The increase was attributed to lower provisions for bad debt compared with the previous few years and a rise in lending.

Since the end of 2011, bank lending to the private sector has begun to pick up and upheld a positive trend since then, reaching USD266 billion at the end of 2012, with net new credit issued in the year at USD37.49 billion.

According to SAMA, banks’ claims to the private sector jumped by almost 16.5 percent in 2012 from a year before.

It is worth noting that assets of Saudi banks stood at USD463 billion at the end of 2012, the second-largest asset base in the Arab world after UAE banks.

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