Colombia’s financial institutions posted a combined net profit of 2.31 trillion Colombian pesos ($1.18 billion) during the first four months, up 15% from the same period in 2009, the country’s banking regulator said Thursday.
The increase was due to higher revenue from investment portfolios, which are mainly loaded with local government bonds, the regulator said.
Locally owned private-sector banks reported COP1.46 trillion in profits in the first four months, up from COP1.28 trillion in the same period a year ago.
The total loan portfolio in the country, including lending from banks and other institutions, rose 3.9% to COP138 trillion in the first three months from a year earlier, the regulator said.
In recent weeks, those bonds have gained some value on the secondary market on falling inflation expectations and lower interest rates after the country’s central bank lowered its rate to 3%.
Net profit at Bancolombia, the country’s largest bank by assets, rose 18% to COP486 billion. The net profit figure includes only Bancolombia and not its subsidiaries in Colombia and abroad.
Banco de Bogota, the country’s second-largest bank, posted a net profit of COP302 billion, up 15% from the same period in 2009, when it booked a net profit of COP263 billion.
Among foreign-owned banks, the local unit of Spain’s Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA earned COP139 billion, up from COP126 billion. The local unit of Spain’s Banco Santander SA reported its net profit rose 21% to COP33 billion from COP27 billion.
The local unit of U.K. bank HSBC PLC posted a net loss of COP1.9 billion. The loss compares with a net loss of COP2.7 billion in the first four months of 2009.
The local unit of Citigroup Inc.reported a profit of COP40 billion, 62% lower than in the same period a year ago. (Dow Jones)