Lenders reap rewards from overseas operations

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Lenders reap rewards from overseas operations

Korean lenders saw their combined net profit from overseas operations grow more than two-fold in the first half from a year earlier on the back of increased interest income, the financial regulator said yesterday.

Net income by 131 overseas units and branches managed by 11 local banks reached $429.4 million in the January-June period, compared with $211.8 million a year ago, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

The stronger bottom line came as interest income rose due to a drop in foreign currency funding costs, the FSS said, adding that banks’ profits from securities investments also shifted to positive territory.

The combined interest earnings of the overseas outlets totaled $641.2 million, up 24 percent from a year earlier. Their average net interest margin, a key gauge of profitability, jumped 0.14 percentage points to 2.13 percent, the regulator added.

Meanwhile, their assets totaled $61.6 billion as of the end of June, up 9 percent from the end of last year.


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