South Korea’s leading lenders Shinhan Financial Group and Hana Financial Group reported better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter and saw a profit increase in mainstay banking units.
Shinhan Financial Group in a regulatory filing on Friday said that it posted a net profit of 857.5 billion won ($810 million) on a consolidated basis for the first quarter ended March this year, down 14.0 percent from 997.1 billion won a year ago. Excluding 275.8 billion won worth of one-off gains received from one of its affiliates Shinhan Card Co. in the first quarter of last year, the group’s net profit was up 18.9 percent on year, hovering above the market consensus of 856.3 billion won, it said.
The financial health of the lender has improved thanks to its non-banking sectors like financial investment and asset management that saw an increase in profit, an official at Shinhan Financial explained. Its mainstay Shinhan Bank reported a net profit of 600.5 billion won over the cited period, up 12.3 percent from a year earlier.
The country’s another leading lender Hana Financial Group Inc. also reported higher-than-expected earnings for the first three months. Hana Financial Group in a regulatory filing on Friday said its net profit reached 671.2 billion won, up 35.4 percent from the previous quarter and 36.4 percent from the same period a year ago. The numbers hit a six-year high since the first quarter of 2012, hovering far above the market consensus that had forecast a net profit of 624.5 billion won.
Hana Financial Group saw an increase in interest income and transaction fee and cut the sale and management cost to improve profitability, a company official said. Its mainstay Hana Bank reported a net profit of 631.9 billion won over the cited period, up 7.0 percent on quarter and 32.2 percent on year to hit the highest-ever for quarter since it merged with Korea Exchange Bank in 2015.
On Friday, shares of Shinhan Financial Group closed 1.41 percent down at 45,400 won, and Hana Financial 2.22 percent at 44,000 won.
By Kim Tae-sung and Lee Ha-yeon
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