RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Bank of East Asia profit jumps 10%

Bank of East Asia Ltd reported a net profit of HK$2.99 billion in the first-half.

Hong Kong's largest local independent bank said the improvement was caused by a rise in interest income and gains from financial assets it holds. The bank’s net profit for the first-half of 2011 stood at HK$2.71 billion.

BEA said net interest income from its core lending operations rose 5% to HK$4.62 billion from HK$4.4 billion. Net fee and commissions’ income rose 9.5% to HK$1.66 billion from HK$1.52 billion.

The was due in part to HK$278 million of fair-value gains from financial instruments, compared to a HK$179 million loss in the same period last year.

BEA operates 220 branches worldwide, including over 100 in China. In 2008, it became the first foreign bank to issue yuan-denominated debit cards in mainland China.

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