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Lower financial expenses help boost Banrisul's Q1 net income by 27.9%

Banco doEstado do Rio Grande do Sul SA, or Banrisul, reported first-quarternet income of 188.1 million Brazilian reais, or 46 centavos per share, up 27.9%from 147.0 million reais, or 36 centavos per share, earned in the year-agoperiod.

The bank's financial income for the period fell 11.3% yearover year to about 2.60 billion reais, while income from services and feesticked 23.5% higher to 401.4 million reais from 324.9 million reais. Thecompany's net interest income jumped 20.5% annually to 1.27 billion reais.

The quarterly results were bolstered by a 23.0% decline infinancial expenses, which fell to 1.76 billion reais from 2.28 billion reais inthe first quarter of 2015. Recurring administrative expenses, which includepersonnel expenses and other administrative costs, rose to 773.2 million reaisfrom 719.7 million reais a year earlier.

Banrisul's total loan portfolio grew to 31.37 billion reaisat the end of the three-month period from 31.03 billion reais at the close ofthe year-ago period. The bank booked 425.4 million reais in allowance for loanlosses, up 5.1% compared to 404.6 million reais in the first three months of2015. The lender's 90-day nonperforming loan ratio increased to 4.88% from3.55%.

The company's annualized return on average equity increasedto 12.6% from 10.7%, while its annualized return on average assets moved to1.1% from 1.0%. The bank's efficiency ratio dropped to 49.4% from 53.9% a yearearlier.

Banrisul reiterated its guidance for expected loan growth in2016 at between 0% and 4%, adding that it still expects mortgage credit toexpand in a range of 4% to 8%.

Additionally, the company noted that studies related topayroll services forpublic servants in the state of Rio Grande do Sul are being finalized.

As of May 10, US$1 wasequivalent to 3.48 Brazilian reais.