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Hang Seng Bank H1 profit rises 8% YOY on higher interest income

Hang Seng Bank Ltd. reported an 8% year-over-year increase in net income for the six months ended June 30, as interest income grew and margins improved.

The Hong Kong-based bank said first-half consolidated profit attributable to its shareholders rose to about HK$13.66 billion from nearly HK$12.65 billion in the prior-year period. EPS increased to HK$6.98 from HK$6.62 in the first half of 2018.

Net interest income grew 11% on an annual basis to HK$15.85 billion from roughly HK$14.23 billion. As of the end of the period, the bank's net interest margin rose to 2.21% from 2.10% as of June 30, 2018.

Net fee income fell 13% year over year to approximately HK$3.49 billion from about HK$3.99 billion, while net income from financial instruments measured at fair value surged to about HK$2.04 billion from HK$995 million.

Net operating income amounted to HK$21.90 billion, up from HK$20.41 billion in the prior-year period, while operating profit grew to HK$15.56 billion from HK$14.66 billion. Meanwhile, the bank said change in expected credit losses and other credit impairment charges was HK$510 million, compared with HK$238 million for the six months to June 30, 2018.

The bank's gross impaired loans and advances ratio stood at 0.22% as at the end of the six-month period, compared with 0.25% as of Dec. 31, 2018, and 0.31% at the end of June 2018.

Hang Seng Bank's common equity Tier 1 and Tier 1 capital ratios stood at 16.4% and 18.2%, respectively, as of June 30, compared with 16.6% and 17.8% at 2018-end. Its total capital ratio was 20.4%, compared with 20.2% as of Dec. 31, 2018.

The bank said its board declared a second interim dividend of HK$1.40 per share, bringing total distribution for the first half to HK$2.80 per share, up from HK$2.60 per share in the year-earlier period. The dividend will be paid Sept. 5 to shareholders on record as of Aug. 20.