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Retail banks' profits up 25.7% in HK
Updated: 2004-09-16 09:21

Fueled by Hong Kong's continuing economic recovery, retail banks' pre-tax operating profits in respect of their Hong Kong offices rose 25.7 percent in the first half of this year over the same period last year.

In its quarterly bulletin released Wednesday, Hong Kong Monetary Authority said the main factor for the growth was a sharp reduction in provisions.

Other factors included gains from treasury operations and increased income from fees and commissions arising mainly from wealth management and trade financing.

It said a continued rise in non-interest income offset the effects of a fall in net interest income.

As a result, non-interest income rose to 39 percent of total operating income in the first half of 2004, up from 33 percent in the same period last year.

Helped by the continued recovery in property values, banks' residential mortgage loans in negative equity fell to around 28, 200 cases at the end of June with an estimated aggregate value of HK$48 billion (US$6.15 billion).

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