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Al Jazira Bank profit dives

Riyadh, July 14, 2007

Al Jazira Bank's second-quarter profit plunged almost 69 per cent after a stock market crash in Saudi Arabia slashed fee income at the kingdom's largest broker.

Net profit in the three months to June 30 was 207.3 million riyals ($55.3 million), compared with 664 million riyals in the year-earlier period and 302 million riyals in the first quarter of this year, the bank said in a statement.

The second-quarter earnings were below analysts forecasts in a survey last month, which ranged from 224.7 to 249.9 million riyals.

Brokerage commissions netted 362.2 million riyals in the six months to June 30, down 71 per cent from the first half of 2006, the bank said.

Saudi Arabia's main stock market index tumbled 63.1 per cent in the 18 months to June 30. The benchmark was the worst performer last year of 81 measured by US stock market research company Birinyi Associates.

Al Jazira makes about 70 per cent of its income from brokerage commission, excluding interest payments, research firm KSB Capital Group said. It controls 26 per cent of the Saudi market for brokerage fees. Reuters




Tags: Saudi Arabia | Al Jazira Bank |

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