Bangkok Bank Q4 net profit rises 3.6 pct, misses estimates

BANGKOK Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:17am EST

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BANGKOK Jan 17 (Reuters) - Bangkok Bank Pcl, Thailand's largest lender by assets, missed analyst estimates by reporting a 3.6 percent on-year rise in fourth-quarter net profit, boosted by continued loan growth, higher fee income and lower provision expenses.

Net profit was 7.7 billion baht ($235 million) in October-December, up from 7.42 billion baht a year earlier, the bank said on Friday. That compared with an 8.2 billion baht mean estimate of 10 analysts in a Reuters poll.

Compared with the previous quarter, net profit fell 14 percent because of higher operating costs and weak net interest income, brought about by the central bank cutting its benchmark interest rate.

The fourth-quarter result brought full year net profit to 35.9 billion baht, a rise of 12.7 percent, the company said.

Looking forward, banks are likely to post slower earnings growth having lowered their 2014 loan-growth targets as political unrest affects domestic consumption and investment.

Shares in Bangkok Bank, valued at $10.1 billion, have fallen 8 percent in the past 12 months, in line with an 8 percent decline in the benchmark index. ($1 = 32.8150 Thai baht) (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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