Eximbank says H1 net profit up 79 pct y/y

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Eximbank of Vietnam said on Tuesday its net profit in the first half rose 78.9 percent from a year earlier to VND1.27 trillion (US$61.8 million).

Ho Chi Minh City-based Eximbank said in a financial statement that total assets as of the end of June rose nearly 9 percent from the end of 2010 to VND142.72 trillion.

The lender, 15 percent owned by Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) and Vietnam's fifth-biggest partly private lender by assets, said loans totaled VND68.96 trillion as of June 30, up 10.6 percent from Dec. 31, 2010. It did not give a comparison with June 2010.

Eximbank's lending growth in the first six months compared with a government target to keep the annual credit growth of Vietnam's banking sector below 20 percent this year, following a rise of 27.65 percent in 2010.

Shares in Eximbank were unchanged at VND14,900 each at 0412 GMT on Tuesday.

While first-half net revenues nearly doubled to VND2.25 trillion from VND1.16 trillion in the same period last year, Eximbank said losses from trading soared to VND24.17 billion from VND505 million in January-June 2010.

Vietnam's stock market has been on a gradual decline this year as the economy struggles with double-digit inflation and the government tightens credit to fight rising consumer prices.

The VN Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, which marked its 11th anniversary this month, was trading down 0.24 percent at 408.39 points at 0317 GMT on Tuesday, having lost 15.7 percent so far this year.

July inflation was estimated at 22.16 percent compared to July 2010, the highest rise since November 2008 when the annual rate was 24.22 percent, government statistics show.

In a separate statement, VietinBank , Vietnam's biggest partly private lender by assets, said its net profit in the first half of this year jumped 65 percent to VND2.72 trillion as loans rose 12.3 percent as of June 30 from a year ago to VND261.69 trillion.

Vietnamese businesses have been facing high interest rates and higher costs of inputs, which could prompt many projects to face delays, the National Assembly's Economic Committee said in a report last week.

"Production and business, if facing delays for a prolonged period, could lead to the risk of raising bad debts in banks in the last months of 2011 and in 2012," the report said.

Eximbank did not give its bad-debt ratio for the first half.

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