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Colombian banking sector profits slip 3.15% in first 5 months of 2016

Colombianbanks posted an overall profit of 4.3 trillion pesos in the first five months of2016, down 3.15% compared to the year-ago period, data from financial regulatorSuperintendencia Financiera showed.

Overall,Colombian credit institutions, which include banks and other financial companiesand cooperatives, showed 4.6 trillion pesos in total profit, down from 5.0 trillionpesos a year earlier, the regulator said in a report released July 14.

The lowerbank profits are mainly due to stronger competition, lower-than-expected loan growthand higher loan provisions, La Repúblicacited local analysts as saying in a July 15 report.

Realgrowth in banks' loan portfolios reached 11.39% year over year in May, while totalassets in the banking sector rose 12.7%.

ROE forColombian banks reached 17.71% in May, up 92 basis points from the previous month,while their ROA reached 2.38%, down by a single basis point.

As of July 14, US$1 was equivalentto 2,930.05 Colombian pesos.