Riyad Bank, Saudi Arabia’s fourth-largest lender by assets, reported a rise in Q2 2019 earnings, beating analysts’ estimates.

The bank’s net profit amounted to 1.5 billion Saudi riyals ($399.96 million), compared to 842 million riyals in Q2 2018, a 78.15 percent increase.

“Earnings were 13 percent ahead of our estimate of SAR1.3bn, driven by stronger net interest income and lower-than-expected provisioning,” Shabbir Malik, a banking analyst at EFG-Hermes, told Zawya.

The bank’s shares were trading 2.07 percent higher at the opening of the trading session on the Saudi exchange at 27.1 riyals and have added 36.73 percent so far since the start of 2019.

According to EFG Hermes calculations, Riyad Bank’s net interest income rose 20.5 percent year on year (y-o-y) in Q2 2019, while provisions dropped 43.9 percent.

The bank’s total revenue for special commissions/investments rose 29.21 percent to 2.61 billion riyals in Q2 2019, up from 2.02 billion riyals in the same period last year.

“The bank’s liquidity was relatively stable, with loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR) at 91 percent,” Malik said.

EFG Hermes has a “Neutral” rating on the bank’s stock and a target price of 26 riyals.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Seban Scaria)


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