Saudi banks see profits soar

With profits increasing by up to 135%, the Saudi Arabian banking sector is on the up.

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By  Rhys Jones Published  May 1, 2005

The profits of top Saudi banks increased by an average of 35% in the first quarter of this year. Increases ranged from 20% to 135% with Al Jazeera Bank reporting the highest increase followed by the Saudi Investment Bank, which saw its profits jump by 68%. The National Commercial Bank (NCB) registered the highest first quarter results with profits of US$3.2 billion, followed by Al Rajhi with US$250 million. Arab National Bank posted first quarter profits of US$96.5 million, while Saudi Investment Bank revealed gains of US$56.3 million. The low cost of labour combined with the volume of consumer loans being taken are believed to have contributed to the strong performance of the kingdom’s banks.

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