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Chong Hing Bank Shares Jump Most in a Year as Profit Gains 746%

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Shares of Chong Hing Bank Ltd. jumped the most in a year in Hong Kong after the company reported a wider lending margin and a 746 percent jump in first-half profit because of a property sale.

The shares rose 14 percent, the biggest gain since August last year, to HK$16.68 as of the noon local-time trading break. That pared this year’s decline to 52 percent, compared with a 4 percent gain for the benchmark Hang Seng Index.

The first-half profit of HK$2.34 billion ($302 million), reported yesterday in an exchange filing, came after a company controlled by the Guangzhou city government in southern China completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Chong Hing this year. Net interest margin, a measure of lending profitability, increased to 1.52 percent in the first half from 1.19 percent a year earlier.

“The bank’s fundamentals have recovered,” Steven Chan, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Maybank Kim Eng Holdings Ltd., said by phone. He cited improvements in net interest margin and capital ratios.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alfred Liu in Hong Kong at aliu226@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net Paul Panckhurst

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