Banking Sector A&M Report: Strong Growth in Saudi Arabia in 2023

Banking Sector A&M Report: Strong Growth in Saudi Arabia in 2023

In a testament to its resilience and adaptability, Saudi Arabia’s banking sector witnessed robust growth throughout 2023, propelled by strong performances from the top institutions. According to a report by professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M), operating income in the Kingdom’s banking sector surged by an impressive 9.5 percent, primarily fueled by non-interest revenue. This growth signifies the sector’s ability to navigate through economic challenges while capitalizing on favorable credit conditions.

Performance Highlights: A&M’s Fourth Annual Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Banking Pulse

A&M’s fourth annual Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Banking Pulse report unveiled a slew of positive metrics indicating the sector’s overall health and stability. The top 10 banks in the Kingdom exhibited robust and positive performances, with operating income experiencing a significant uptick of 9.5 percent. This growth was attributed to the impact of higher non-interest income, reflecting the industry’s resilience and ability to generate revenue amidst evolving market dynamics.

Banking Sector-Key Players: Driving Growth and Stability

Among the institutions analyzed by A&M were banking giants such as Saudi National Bank, Al-Rajhi Bank, and Riyad Bank, alongside others including Saudi British Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Arab National Bank, Alinma Bank, Bank Albilad, Saudi Investment Bank, and Bank Aljazira. Their collective performance underscored the sector’s robustness and its pivotal role in driving economic growth within the Kingdom.

Financial Health: Strengthening Key Metrics

The report highlighted notable improvements across key financial indicators, with the net interest margin witnessing a significant enhancement of 3.5 percent. This bolstered profitability within the sector, with the return on equity climbing to a commendable 14.5 percent, indicative of strong financial health and effective management strategies.

 Banking Sector

Stability and Liquidity: A Positive Outlook

Despite economic challenges, the sector demonstrated remarkable stability, with a slight decline in the cost of risk contributing to overall stability. Liquidity received a notable boost, attributed to record government-related entity deposits, which constituted a significant portion of total inflows, thereby improving liquidity conditions within the banking system.

Expert Insight: Navigating Market Dynamics

Asad Ahmed, managing director and head of Middle East financial services at A&M, lauded the industry’s resilience amidst economic challenges, emphasizing the stability and growth potential of the Saudi banking sector. He underscored the sector’s adept navigation through favorable credit conditions, highlighting its ability to capitalize on opportunities while mitigating risks.

Future Prospects: Driving Saudi Vision 2030

Looking ahead, A&M predicts a positive outlook for Saudi banks, with prospective loan growth, improving asset quality, and well-capitalized books playing pivotal roles in achieving the objectives outlined in Saudi Vision 2030. Despite anticipated cuts in net interest margin by the second half of 2024, Saudi banks are expected to maintain stability and adaptability, underscoring their crucial role in driving economic growth and prosperity within the Kingdom.

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