April 29, 2019 / 9:58 PM / 7 months ago

Mexican bank Banorte says first-quarter profit up by nearly 50 percent

FILE PHOTO: A sign of Banorte bank is pictured at its headquarters in Monterrey, Mexico, December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s Grupo Financiero Banorte, the bank with the biggest weight in Mexico’s benchmark stock index, posted a first quarter net profit of 9.93 billion pesos ($512 million) on Monday, up 47 percent compared to the same period last year.

The quarterly result was also boosted by gains from the sale of Banorte USA, the bank said in a statement.

Banorte’s current loan portfolio registered a year-on-year increase in the quarter of 22 percent to reach 762.10 billion pesos, amid growth in commercial, corporate and government lending.

The bank’s past-due loan ratio, meanwhile, fell to 1.7 percent, from 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2018, according to the results.

Shares of Banorte closed up 1.32 percent on Monday prior to the release of the first quarter results.

($1 = 19.4120 pesos at end-March)

Reporting by Noe Torres; Editing by Julia Love and Sandra Maler

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