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Asset management services boost KBC Q2 profit

KBC Group NV reported second-quarter profit after tax attributable to equity holders of the parent of €855 million, according to International Financial Reporting Standards, up from €721 million earned in the same period in 2016.

EPS for the quarter was €2.01, compared to the year-ago €1.69. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the quarter was €1.88.

Net interest income totaled €1.03 billion, compared to €1.07 billion a year earlier. Net fee and commission income increased on a yearly basis to €430 million from €360 million, thanks mainly to the group's asset management services.

The group's nonlife insurance income, before reinsurance, rose year over year to €179 million from €141 million. Life insurance, before reinsurance, reported a narrowing of the second-quarter loss to €24 million from the year-ago €38 million.

Impairments on loans and receivables amounted to a release of €78 million, compared to a charge of €50 million in the second quarter of 2016. The result was mainly due to €87 million in impairment releases in Ireland, combined with a generally "very low level" of impairment in all other countries. KBC projects total loan impairment releases in Ireland of €160 million to €200 million for the full year.

For the six months to June-end, the group posted attributable profit after tax of €1.49 billion, or €3.49 per share, compared to the year-ago €1.11 billion, or €2.60 per share.

ROE for the half was 20%, compared to 18% for full year 2016.

The group's Basel III common equity ratio according to the Danish compromise method was 15.8% on a phased-in basis and 15.7% on a fully loaded basis as of June 30. At 2016-end, the figures were 16.2% and 15.8%, respectively.

KBC said it estimates the impact on its fully loaded common equity ratio of the first-time application of IFRS 9 as of Jan. 1, 2018, to be a decrease of 45 to 55 basis points.

KBC expects the planned reform of the Belgian corporate income tax regime to have a recurring positive impact on the group's results from 2018 on and a one-off impact of about 0.2% on the common equity ratio in the second half. The group also estimates a €230 million one-off negative upfront impact, related to a reduction in the amount of deferred tax assets, on its second-half result.

KBC plans to pay an interim dividend of €1 per share, as an advance payment on the total dividend, on Nov. 17.