Saudi banks opened 44 branches in various regions of the Kingdom by the end of 2012, raising the total number of branches to 1,696 compared to 1,652 branches by the end of 2011, an increase of 2.6 percent.
A report issued by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency showed an eight percent increase in the number of ATMs operating in the Kingdom by the end of December 2012 — from 11, 749 to 12,712 — by the end of the previous year.
The number of equipment at sales points increased by 11 percent from 83,356 to 92,538 during the same period, the SPA reported quoting SAMA.
The SAMA report reflects the strength of the Saudi banking sector. The Kingdom’s 12 major banks generated a total profit of SR 35.1 billion in 2012, reflecting a year-on-year growth of 11.02 percent. Al-Rajhi Bank and the National Commercial Bank (NCB) represented nearly 41 percent of the consolidated net profit. Both banks’ profitability rose around seven percent.
Al-Rajhi Bank also managed to retain a healthy level of income from investing and financing activities. At the end of 2012, its top line climbed to SR 9.5 billion reflecting a growth of 4.75 percent. Among other players in the sector, Bank Al-Bilad’s bottom line grew exceptionally by 186.08 percent from the SR 329.6 million recorded in 2011. It reported a net income of SR 942 million for 2012. This huge increase can be attributed to the increase in the bank’s non-operating income specifically a land sales transaction of SR 373 million.
Reproduced with permission from Arab News