Banco deChile posted a 13.5% rise in first-quarter net income, as thecompany saw higher income from loans and an annual boost in fee-based income.
The Chilean bank showed net income of 132.53 billion Chileanpesos, or 1.38 pesos per share, up from 116.72 billion pesos, or 1.23 pesos pershare, earned in the year-ago period. Total operating revenuesrose 7.7% to 410.85 billion pesos, while operating expenses grew by 8.4% to194.11 billion pesos.
Net financial income reached 326.86 billion pesos, up 8.5%from 301.23 billion pesos a year ago, even as the company's net financialmargin ticked down to 4.71% from 4.74% year over year. Net fees and commissiongrew 7.4% year over year to 77.41 billion pesos.
The bank's provisions for loan losses totaled 64.83 billionpesos, down slightly from 65.43 billion pesos a year earlier. Banco de Chileattributed the decline in provisions to regulatory changes related to thetreatment of loans, as well as to a positive foreign exchange effect on U.S.dollar-denominated loan loss allowances. The ratio of total past due loans tototal loans decreased to 1.28% from 1.35%, while the ratio of allowances tototal loans held at 2.46%.
Customer loans increased 12.0% to reach 24.499 trillionpesos.
Both the return on average assets and return on averageequity rose to 1.71% and 19.41% from 1.67% and 18.46%, respectively.
The results come as Banco de Chile readies to Eduardo Ebensperger Orregoas its new CEO on May 1 following the surprise resignation of Arturo Tagle Quiroz in March.
As of April 28, US$1was equivalent to 667.70 Chilean pesos.