SANTIAGO, April 4 (Reuters) - Chile’s banking sector profit dropped 17.27 percent in February compared with a year earlier, pressured by the lower revenue from currency exchange positions and higher costs linked to provisions, the banking regulator said on Thursday.
The sector posted a 234.040 billion peso ($494.5 million) profit in the second month of the year, a 0.64 percent decrease compared with January, the regulator said.
It said total loans in the banking system grew 12.54 percent compared with February 2012, and 0.58 percent compared with January.
Banco de Chile posted a 67.937 billion peso ($143.5 million) profit in February.
Santander Chile earned 49.823 billion pesos ($105.3 million) in the month, the regulator said.
Shares in Santander were off 0.43 percent around midday, following the release of the report, while shares in Banco de Chile were up 0.33 percent.