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Korea Exchange Bank Profit Jumps 58%, Helped by Hynix Stake Sale

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April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Korea Exchange Bank, the lender acquired by Hana Financial Group Inc. in February, said first-quarter profit rose 58 percent, boosted by gains from the sale of its stake in SK Hynix Semiconductor Inc.

Net income climbed to 313.9 billion won ($275 million) from 198.6 billion won a year earlier, Seoul-based KEB said in a regulatory filing today. That compares with the 268 billion-won average estimate of eight analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

Korea Exchange Bank became a Hana Financial unit after the parent completed 4.4 trillion won in payments to Dallas-based Lone Star Funds and Export Import Bank of Korea. Hana Financial plans to publish first-quarter results tomorrow, reflecting its 58 percent ownership in KEB.

The net interest margin, a measure of profitability from lending, narrowed to 2.47 percent from 2.63 percent a year earlier, KEB said in a separate statement on its website. Provisions against bad debt fell 28 percent to 106.9 billion won, the statement said.

Korea Exchange Bank recorded a 133.1 billion won after-tax gain from selling 10 million shares in Hynix, it said in the statement. As part of a shareholder group the bank led a 3.4 trillion-won sale of Hynix to SK Telecom Co. last year, completing the transaction in February.

Korea Exchange Bank shares rose 2.6 percent to 8,670 won before the earnings release. The stock has advanced 18 percent this year, compared with the benchmark Kospi index’s 8.8 percent rise.

To contact the reporter on this story: Seonjin Cha in Seoul at scha2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Gunsalus at jgunsalus@bloomberg.net

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