Banorte Profit Beats Estimates as Loan Portfolio Expands

Grupo Financiero Banorte SAB, Mexico’s third-largest lender, reported fourth-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates as an acquisition boosted its loan portfolio.

Net income climbed 43 percent to 2.51 billion pesos ($191 million) from 1.76 billion pesos a year earlier, Banorte said today in an e-mailed statement. That beat the 2.33 billion-peso average estimate of five analysts polled by Bloomberg. Outstanding loans gained 33 percent to 350 billion pesos.

The integration of Ixe Grupo Financiero SAB, acquired by Banorte last year, helped boost the loan portfolio. Commercial lending climbed 38 percent and business lending rose 34 percent, the company said.

Banorte “still has work to do” to complete its operational merger with Ixe, Chief Executive Officer Alejandro Valenzuela told reporters today at an event in Mexico City following the report’s release. The merger of the banks’ brokerage operations has been completed he said.

The bank will seek to expand Ixe branches beyond central Mexico this year, Valenzuela said.

A merger of Banorte’s pension fund with the fund known as Afore XXI was completed Jan. 16, he said.

Banorte shares rose 2.3 percent to 51.96 pesos in Mexico City trading today before the results were announced. The stock has surged 23 percent this year, the most on the benchmark IPC index of 35 Mexican stocks.