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Banco de Chile's H1 profit rises 1.8% YOY on stronger interest income

Banco de Chile's profit for the first half of 2018 increased 1.8% from the same period a year earlier as interest and fee income grew, although the improvement was partly offset by higher operating expenses.

The Santiago-based lender booked net income attributable to owners of about 305.21 billion Chilean pesos, or 3.07 pesos per share, for the six-month period, up from 299.81 billion pesos, or 3.01 pesos per share, in the first half of 2017.

Considering the bank's first-quarter 2018 net income of 142.65 billion pesos, the first-half results indicate a second-quarter profit of approximately 162.56 billion pesos. That figure compares with net income of 159.82 billion pesos in the second quarter of 2017.

In the first half of 2018, Banco de Chile's net interest income grew to 647.53 billion pesos from 627.02 billion pesos a year earlier. Net fees and commission income, meanwhile, increased to 179.22 billion pesos from 175.42 billion pesos.

The first-half results were further buoyed by a small decline in provisions for loan losses, which fell to 124.76 billion pesos from 125.22 billion pesos in the prior-year period.

At the same time, total operating expenses rose to 415.88 billion pesos from 389.60 billion pesos in the first half of 2017. The bank posted higher personnel, administrative and other operating expenses year over year, while depreciation and amortization expenses as well as impairment costs also increased year over year.

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