Bank of East Asia Ltd. reported a year-over-year rise in net profit for the full year ended Dec. 31, 2017, partly due to a decline in impairment losses.
The group posted consolidated full-year net profit attributable to owners of HK$9.35 billion, or HK$3.20 per share, up from HK$3.72 billion, or HK$1.21 per share, in the prior-year period.
Excluding net profit from discontinued operations, net profit attributable to owners from continuing operations increased year over year to HK$6.30 billion, or HK$2.09 per share, from HK$3.51 billion, or HK$1.12 per share.
The group noted that a net profit of about HK$3.01 billion in respect of the disposal of its stake in Tricor Holdings Ltd. was recorded and included in its profits attributable to owners from discontinued operations.
Net interest income for the full year rose to HK$11.83 billion from HK$11.10 billion, while net fee and commission income inched up to HK$2.49 billion from HK$2.46 billion.
Operating income climbed to HK$15.95 billion from HK$14.71 billion, while operating expenses fell to HK$8.07 billion from HK$8.21 billion. Operating profit after impairment losses rose to HK$5.43 billion from HK$3.05 billion.
Impairment losses on loans and receivables declined to HK$1.74 billion from HK$3.46, while impairment losses for the period fell to HK$2.46 billion from HK$3.46 billion.
The group's impaired loan ratio was 1.09% at the end of 2017, down from 1.49% at the end of 2016.
As of Dec. 31, 2017, the group's total capital ratio came to 17.8%, up from 17.4% at Dec. 31, 2016. Its common equity Tier 1 and Tier 1 ratios from the period were 13.2% and 15.1%, respectively, up from 12.1% and 13.5%, respectively, at the end of 2016.
The bank declared a second interim dividend of 60 Hong Kong cents per share for 2017, up from 28 cents per share for 2016. Together with the interim dividend of 68 cents per share, the bank's total dividend for 2017 is HK$1.28 per share, up from 56 cents per share in 2016.