Saudi banks’ aggregate profits surge 23% to $1.98bn in March: SAMA
Banks in Saudi Arabia reported an aggregate profit of SR7.43 billion ($1.98 billion) in March, up 23.2 percent compared to the same month in 2022, the latest data from the Saudi Central Bank showed.
According to the report from the bank, also known as SAMA, the aggregate assets of banks operating in the Kingdom also went up by 11.17 percent year-on-year to SR3.74 trillion in March.
In its monthly statistical bulletins, SAMA covers the results of Tadawul-listed banks and some foreign banks operating in Saudi Arabia.
The latest report further noted the combined deposits in these banks rose 11 percent year-on-year to SR2.40 trillion.
It also revealed that loans given to private entities in the Kingdom rose over 10 percent year-on-year to SR2.35 trillion in March, indicating a growth in the non-oil private sector.
In February, banks in Saudi Arabia provided loans worth SR2.32 trillion, slightly up from SR2.29 trillion disbursed in January.
“The Q1 2023 profitability growth numbers for the sector and the quarterly earnings reported by the banks so far indicate that the corporate-focused banks are benefiting from the higher rate environment,” commented financial services company Al-Rajhi Capital on the latest bulletin.
It added: “We maintain our positive view on corporate-focused banks, as we believe the credit growth in the system will be driven by the corporate banks. Moreover, in terms of NIMs (net interest margin), we believe that the corporate banks are well-positioned to benefit.”
The report, however, added that the value of assets held by SAMA decreased by SR71.42 billion month-on-month to SR1.85 trillion in March, while on a year-on-year basis, it shrunk by SR33.4 billion.
SAMA’s investments in foreign securities, which account for 56 percent of the central bank’s total assets, declined by more than 8 percent year-on-year in March to around SR1.02 trillion.
The central bank’s deposits in banks abroad rose by 19.88 percent year-on-year to SR337.61 billion, compared to SR281.62 billion in March 2022.