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Citigroup’s Handlowy Boosts Profit on Bond Investments

Bank Handlowy SA, the Polish unit of Citigroup Inc., said first-quarter net income jumped 46 percent from a year earlier after gains on bond investments.

Profit rose to 355.4 million zloty ($113 million) from 243.6 million zloty a year earlier, the Warsaw-based bank said in a regulatory statement today. That beat the 208.7 million-zloty mean estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Handlowy posted a 172 million-zloty gain on its bond holdings in the first quarter, compared with 72.9 million zloty a year earlier. Polish government bonds rallied over the past year as monetary easing across the world triggered capital flows into emerging markets. The yield on Poland’s 10-year bonds has slumped 72 basis points to a record 3.02 percent this year, extending a 215 basis-point decline in 2012.

Handlowy shares rose as much as 2 percent to a two-year high of 102.45 zloty and traded up 1.6 percent at 10:37 a.m. in Warsaw, valuing the bank at 13.3 billion zloty.

The lender’s net interest income fell 18 percent to 327.1 million zloty in the first quarter, while costs declined 17 percent to 331.3 million zloty, Handlowy said. Provisions for bad loans dropped to 10.5 million zloty from 14.8 million zloty a year earlier.

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