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HK-based bank BEA's profit up 47% in first 6 months
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The net profit of Bank of East Asia in the first half rose 46.8 percent year on year to 1.21 billion HK dollars (US$155 million), as non-interest income surged sharply, the Hong Kong-based bank said Tuesday.

The bank's non-interest income in the first six months surged from 202 million HK dollars (US$26 million) to 1.72 billion HK dollars (US$220 million), mainly thanks to an increase in trading profits and a decrease in net loss from financial instruments designated at fair value through profit or loss.

Interest income in the first six months declined 7.2 percent year on year to 3.23 billion HK dollars (US$414 million). Net interest margin narrowed by 14 basis points to 1.77 percent.

Cost-to-income ratio fell from 75 percent to 61.4 percent.

As of June 30, the banking group's capital adequacy ratio stood at 13 percent, slightly lower than the 13.8 percent at the end of December 2008.

Chairman and Chief Executive David Li said the business of the bank has been impacted by the fallout from the financial tsunami but it had continued to invest where it saw growth opportunities.

"The slowdown in economic activity will no doubt affect our business going forward. Nevertheless, with our new management team in place, I am confident that the BEA Group is in a very strong position to take advantage of emerging growth opportunities," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 26, 2009)

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