Chile banking profits slip in Jan-May on lower interest margins

SANTIAGO, July 4 Thu Jul 4, 2013 10:23am EDT

SANTIAGO, July 4 (Reuters) - Profits in Chile's banking sector slipped 7.69 percent in the January-to-May period from a year earlier, hurt by lower interest margins and a moderating loan growth, the SBIF banking regulator said on Thursday.

The sector posted a 659.95 billion peso ($1.34 billion) profit in the first five months of the year, the regulator said. Sector profit in May tumbled 34.4 percent from April, it added.

Total loans in the banking system expanded 8.66 percent in the period from a year ago, the regulator added. Loans inched up 1.73 percent in May from April.

Banco de Chile posted a 204.79 billion peso ($415.6 million) profit in the period. Santander Chile , the country's largest bank in terms of assets, earned 141.3 billion pesos ($286.7 million), the regulator said.

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