Peru's Credicorp Q4 profit rose 6 percent on expanded lending

LIMA Mon Feb 4, 2013 7:34pm EST

LIMA Feb 4 (Reuters) - Credicorp, Peru's largest financial holding company, said on Monday its fourth-quarter net income rose 6 percent to $200.2 million compared to the same period a year ago.

The company credited its loan portfolio, which rose 23.1 percent in the fourth quarter year-on-year and was helped by Peru's expanding credit market and solid economic growth rate.

Credicorp controls Peru's largest bank, Banco de Credito , and also owns a pension fund and insurance company.

"This strong loan book expansion is in line with the performance of the Peruvian economy," the company said. "Our business expansion was excellent and income generation remained strong, which allowed us to absorb higher provisioning."

The company's net provisions for loan losses in the fourth quarter grew 46.2 percent to $109.97 million.

Credicorp's earnings in the third quarter year-on-year rose 33 percent, and came in at $788.8 million for all of 2012.

Peru's economy is expected to have expanded 6.3 percent in all of 2012.

The central bank has tightened reserve requirements six times since May to curb heavy capital inflows that have pushed the local currency to a 16-year high.

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