BUENOS AIRES Feb 15 Leading Argentine banking
conglomerate Grupo Financiero Galicia
reported slightly higher fourth-quarter earnings on Friday but
fell just short of market expectations.
Net profit rose to 368.2 million pesos ($74.8 million) from
355.1 million pesos in the same period of 2011. In a Reuters
poll of five analysts, the median profit forecast was 373
million pesos, with estimates ranging from 350 million to 395
Argentina's financial sector continued to flourish in 2012
despite a sharp economic slowdown, and Galicia's main affiliate,
Banco Galicia, expanded its market share of private-sector loans
and deposits over the course of the year.
Grupo Galicia's net profit totaled 1.34 billion pesos in
2012, up nearly 21 percent from 2011, the company said in a
statement to the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.
Banco Galicia posted a fourth-quarter net profit of
361.3 million pesos, up from 359.0 million pesos a year earlier.
The bank's 2012 net profit rose to 1.30 billion pesos from 1.11
billion pesos in 2011.
As of Dec. 31, the bank's market share of loans to the
private sector was 9.05 percent, while its share of
private-sector deposits was 9.12 percent. Banco Galicia is the
biggest privately owned Argentine bank.