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BICECORP profit slides on weaker life insurance result, higher provisions

Chilean banking and insurance group BICECORP S.A. posted a second-quarter profit of 21.95 billion Chilean pesos, down from 25.52 billion pesos in the year-ago period.

The company's profit for the first half of 2018 was around 45.00 billion pesos, 22% less than in the same period in 2017, which BICE attributed to a lackluster performance at BICE Vida Compañía de Seguros S.A.

The insurance unit saw its profits sink to 9.76 billion pesos, down 50% in the first six months of 2018, compared with the same period a year ago.

Net income at banking unit Banco BICE, meanwhile, slid to 33.28 billion pesos in the first half from 35.41 billion pesos in the year-ago period.

The bank's net interest income in the half rose to 63.41 billion pesos from 53.77 billion pesos a year earlier, while commissions jumped to 25.29 billion pesos from 22.83 billion pesos. The results were offset, however, by a rise in loan loss provisions, jumping to 8.64 billion pesos from 4.72 billion pesos year over year. Operational costs at Banco BICE rose to 52.55 billion pesos from 49.71 billion pesos a year earlier.

The group's half-year administrative expenses rose to 78.31 billion pesos from 69.61 billion pesos last year.

BICECORP's return on equity fell to 10.0% for the six months through June 30 from 13.9% in the year-ago period, while return on average assets slid to 0.9% from 1.3%.

As of July 27, US$1 was equivalent to 642.89 Chilean pesos.