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RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, Hong Kong

BEA first half profit up 29% to $345.74mn

The bank’s profit was better-than-expected estimate of $266.5mn by analysts.

Bank of East Asia Ltd, Hong Kong's third-largest lender by market value, posted a record 29 percent rise in its first-half profit on strong growth from interest income, fees and commission.

Profit attributable to owners reached HK$2.71 billion ($345.74 million), or HK$1.24 ($0.16) a share, compared with HK$2.1 billion ($269.06 million) or HK$0.96 ($0.12) a share during the corresponding period a year ago, the bank said on Thursday as it released its result for the first six months of 2011.

The result was better-than-expected, beating an average estimate of HK$2.08 billion ($266.5 million) by seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Net interest income, the major source of revenue, climbed 19.9 percent to HK$4.4 billion ($563.75 million). The net interest margin (NIM) - the lending rate minus the deposit rate - remained at 1.73 percent compared with the second half of last year but lower than the 1.84 percent recorded in the first half of 2010.

Total loans and trade bills increased to HK$351 billion ($44,97 billion) at the end of June 2011, up 25 percent from a year ago.

Non-interest income, or net fee and commission income, surged 28.4 percent to HK$2.2 billion ($281.87 million).

View the full story in China Daily.

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