Profit up for largest Czech bank CSOB, loans grow

PRAGUE Tue Aug 7, 2012 8:05am EDT

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PRAGUE Aug 7 (Reuters) - Net profit of the Czech Republic's largest bank CSOB rose 27 percent in the first half to 7.9 billion crowns ($390.86 million), helped by rising loan growth and trading income along with a steep drop in impairment charges after it wrote off Greek debt in 2011.

Loan growth reached 13 percent in the first half thanks to a 15 percent rise in mortgages and an increase in corporate lending, the bank said on Tuesday.

Impairment costs fell 84 percent year-on-year.

CSOB, a unit of Belgium's KBC, said it sold Greek bonds it received earlier this year under an exchange programme to ease the euro zone member's debt burden. CSOB said it had also sold Spanish government bonds, of which it held 610 million crowns at the end of 2011. ($1 = 20.2118 Czech crowns) (Reporting by Jason Hovet)

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