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Chilean banking sector's net profit grows 19.81% in April YOY

The Chilean banking sector's net profit hit 192.93 billion Chilean pesos in April, up 19.81% from the same month a year ago but down 36.93% from March 2017, as financial margin dropped, banking regulator SBIF said in its monthly banking system update published May 31.

The reason for the monthly decrease was mainly a drop in net margin, net commissions and income from financial operations, accompanied by higher expenses in total provisions and a drop in investment results, the regulator said, adding that the decrease was offset, however, by lower administrative and tax expenses.

SBIF pointed out that the banking system's results were accentuated by an extraordinary income that occurred in March when an adjustment to the fair value of Banco de Credito e Inversiones SA's investment in Banco de Crédito del Perú was recognized.

"By simulating the variation of the system's results excluding this operation, the fall in the month of April would have reached 22.85%," the regulator noted.

The banking sector's average return on equity, meanwhile, fell in April, to 12.04% from 12.11% the previous month.

For the cumulative year, overall lending grew 3.81% in April, which was up from 3.46% growth in March, but lending wasn't as robust as the growth recorded a year ago of 6.93%. SBIF attributed the decline to lower economic activity by companies and households.

Regarding credit risks, the sector's ratio of loans overdue by 90 days or more decreased to 1.97% in April from 2.00% in March driven mainly by a drop in the mortgage portfolio indicator, which fell to 2.65% from 2.75%, the regulator noted.

As of May 30, US$1 was equivalent to 675.02 Chilean pesos.