TheChilean banking sector's net profit fell 1.06% in the first two months of 2016to 276.14 billion Chilean pesos compared to the same period a year ago, bankingregulator SBIF said in its monthly banking system update published March 31.
Thedecrease was mainly the result of higher spending on loan provisions as theratio of provisions to total loans rose to 2.50% in February from 2.46% a yearago and 2.49% in the previous month.
Annualizedreturn on average equity came to 14.63% in February, down from 17.09% a yearago.
Totalloans rose 7.10% year over year in February, up from the 6.97% growth inJanuary, the regulator said. Commercial loans grew 6.92%, while consumer loansrose 3.94% and mortgages jumped 11.52%.
Theratio of bank loans overdue by 90 days or more to total loans was 1.92% inFebruary, up from 1.87% in January but down from 2.16% a year ago.
Separately,the SBIF said that the cooperatives it supervises posted profits of 7.28billion pesos through February with an annualized return on equity of 8.80%,down from 11.43% recorded a year earlier.
Totalloans by the cooperatives dropped 0.38% annually in real terms. Althoughconsumer loans rose 0.27% and mortgages edged up 0.53% in 12 months, commercialloans fell 9.83% in real terms.
As of April 1, US$1 wasequivalent to 668.70 Chilean pesos.