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Lower provisions, stronger operating income boost Bancolombia's Q2 profit

Bancolombia SA's second-quarter 2019 profit surged 58.22% year over year on the back of lower loan-loss provisions and robust operating income.

The Colombian bank posted consolidated net income of about 936.19 billion pesos, or 973.34 pesos per share, for the three-month period, up from 591.72 billion pesos, or 615.20 pesos per share, earned a year ago.

Net interest income reached 2.889 trillion pesos in the second quarter, up 7.52% from the linked quarter and 13.48% higher year over year. The company's net interest margin from continuing operations rose to 5.90% in the quarter from 5.75% a year earlier.

The bank's net fees and income from services grew 10.58% annually to 754.61 billion pesos, while other operating income rose 7.26% to 335.75 billion pesos.

Bancolombia also saw a 15.82% decline in its net provisions, falling to 815.68 billion pesos in the second quarter.

Operating expenses totaled 1.981 trillion pesos in the quarter, up 5.98% from the year-ago period.

Bancolombia's total credit portfolio advanced 9.00% annually to hit 177.991 trillion pesos as of the second-quarter end. Allowances for loan losses rose 6.75% year over year to 10.120 trillion pesos.

The ratio of the bank's past-due loans to total loans was 4.71%, down from 4.98% in the prior quarter and 5.20% a year earlier.

The bank's return on average total assets from continuing operations was 1.64% in the second quarter, up from 1.17% a year earlier. Return on average shareholders' equity climbed to 15.00% from 10.57% year over year.

As of Aug. 2, US$1 was equivalent to 3,376.60 Colombian pesos.