Saudi’s Al Rajhi Bank Q1 net profit rises 21% on higher fees

A man walks past a sign of Al Rajhi Capital company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 8, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 24 April 2019
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Saudi’s Al Rajhi Bank Q1 net profit rises 21% on higher fees

  • The bank aims to boost its mortgage lending as more affordable housing comes on the market: CEO

DUBAI: Al Rajhi Bank, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest lender by assets, reported double-digit growth in first-quarter net profit on Tuesday, helped by higher special commission income and fees.
Saudi Arabia’s biggest Islamic lender said net profit rose 21 percent in the three months ended March 31 to 2.89 billion riyals ($771 million). It made net profit of 2.38 billion riyals in the same perioda year earlier.
The bank aims to boost its mortgage lending as more affordable housing comes on the market, Chief Executive Steve Bertamini told Reuters this month.
Al Rajhi, which has traditionally focused on consumer banking, has been cautiously expanding its exposure to the private sector, Bertamini said, amid expectations that government employment may not rise much in the future.
Saudi banks’ performance in 2019 should be boosted by a surge in liquidity and an anticipated recovery in lending against a backdrop of higher oil prices.
Saudi Arabia’s economy grew in the fourth quarter of last year at its fastest rate since early 2016 due to an expansion in the oil sector, while non-oil growth was sluggish, statistics agency data showed in March.
Al Rajhi attributed its performance to an increase in total operating income, due to special commission income and fees.
Operating income for the quarter rose by 12 percent year-on-year to 4.64 billion riyals, while profits from special commissions increased 15 percent over the same time frame to 3.94 billion riyals.
Loans and advances at the end of March stood at 236.42 billion riyals, up 3.6 percent year-on-year, while deposits rose 3.4 percent to 293.5 billion riyals over the same period.


Saudi Aramco signs US LNG deal with Sempra

Aramco, the Saudi state oil giant plans to become a major global gas player while the US market is undergoing a shale boom. (File/AP)
Updated 45 min 25 sec ago
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Saudi Aramco signs US LNG deal with Sempra

  • Aramco has been developing its own gas resources
  • The proposed Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project is expected to include two liquefaction trains

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco has entered into a 20-year agreement with US-based Sempra Energy to purchase liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its subsidiary Sempra LNG, the two companies said on Wednesday.
The Saudi state oil giant plans to become a major global gas player while the US market is undergoing a shale boom.
Aramco has been developing its own gas resources and eyeing gas assets in the United States, Russia, Australia and Africa.
The two companies are also finalizing a 25 percent equity investment in the phase 1 of Port Arthur LNG, they said in a joint statement.
The sale-and-purchase agreement is for 5 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG from phase 1 of the Port Arthur LNG export project under development, the firms said.
The proposed Port Arthur LNG Phase 1 project is expected to include two liquefaction trains, up to three LNG storage tanks and associated facilities which should enable the export of about 11 mtpa on a long-term basis.
“Port Arthur LNG could be one of the largest LNG export projects in North America, with potential expansion capabilities of up to eight liquefaction trains or approximately 45 mtpa of capacity,” the statement said.
Aramco’s trading arm sold its first LNG cargo on the spot market in late March to an Indian buyer, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Aramco plans to boost its gas production to 23 billion standard cubic feet (scf) a day from about 14 billion scf now.