National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia’s largest bank by assets, on Saturday posted a 27 percent increase in profit for last year. Net income for 2011 rose to SR6.012bn ($1.6bn) compared with SR4.724bn a year earlier, the state- owned bank said in an e-mailed statement. Profit gained as “income from core operations increased and operating costs decreased,” Sheikh Abdullah Bahamdan, the bank’s chairman, said in the statement. Operating costs declined 13 percent, it said. Total assets rose 6.7 percent to SR301.2bn, while deposits expanded 4.5 percent to SR239.5bn, the bank said in the statement. The loan book grew 7.7 percent to SR135.3bn. Saudi Arabian banks’ lending to the private sector rose to a record of SR810.2bn in October, an increase of 10 percent from the same period last year, according to data on the central bank’s website. National Commercial Bank isn’t publicly traded.