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Hanmi Financial keen on M&A

Hanmi Financial Corp. President and CEO Chong Guk Kum answered in the affirmative when asked during the company's third-quarter earnings call whether there are any prospects of a deal being announced before the end of 2017 or over the next six months.

When asked if it could be "a small Korean bank up in Washington," Kum said he cannot respond to that question. But he added that M&A opportunities are fairly broad, "and it may include that one institution."

"[W]e're also evaluating the specialty finance sector, too, in terms of some products that are complementary to what we do here, which is to service the small business community," the CEO said, according to a transcript. "So we're looking at community banks as well as other specialty finance companies."

The Los Angeles-based company reported third-quarter net income of $14.9 million, or 46 cents per share, compared to the year-ago period's $13.1 million, or 41 cents per share. The S&P Capital IQ consensus mean estimate for third-quarter normalized EPS was 46 cents.

Hanmi consolidated two branch offices at the end of the third quarter in Beverly Hills and Torrance, Calif.

In the fourth quarter, Hanmi will open a new branch office in New York City. "Looking ahead, we expect our expansion strategy to accelerate with the planned opening of our first New York branch located in Midtown Manhattan later this month," Kum said. "As we look to strategically expand the bank, the demographics of New York City, which has the second-largest Asian population among U.S. metropolitan areas, provide significant opportunities to grow the Hanmi franchise."