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Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank post mixed Q2 earnings in Korea

Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank’s Korean subsidiaries posted mixed earnings in the second quarter, as per their disclosures Friday.

The New York-based lender’s subsidiary bit the dust amid the coronavirus pandemic, with its net profit plummeting 72.4 percent on-year to 30.3 billion won ($25.5 million).

This was mostly due to provisions set aside for coronavirus risks coupled with dissipated effects from the sell-off of its landmark headquarters tower last year.

Its net profit for the first half of the year dropped 46.9 percent to 90 billion won.

The bank saw a surge in its second-quarter net profit last year due to its sell-off of its 20-story headquarters building in central Seoul -- which it had occupied since 2004 -- to raise cash. It gained 76.9 billion won from the deal early last year, and has since relocated to an office building nearby.

Its revenue dropped 19.6 percent in the same period to 312.5 billion won, as the bank adjusted its net interest margin downward in line with the latest slide in the nation’s benchmark interest rate.

Interest income slipped 6 percent on-year to 227.1 billion won, while non-interest income gained 31 percent to 79.5 billion won. The bank saw increased profit from forex-related derivatives and surge in commission from insurance and other investment products.

The lender set aside 65.6 billion won in the second-quarter to minimize risks from the COVID-19 and increase in personal loans.

“The second-quarter performance absorbed risks from a drop in benchmark interest rate, increase in credit costs and the COVID-19 pandemic, but recently, we have seen positive signals from areas tied to the money market, wealth management and credit loans,” Citibank Korea CEO Park Jin-hei said.

Citibank Korea is a wholly owned subsidiary of Citibank Overseas Investment Corp. based in Delaware in the US.

In contrast, Standard Chartered Korea’s second-quarter net profit jumped 18.8 percent to 88.3 billion won on-year, with its half-year net profit gaining 21.1 percent to 182 billion won on-year.

The figure was bolstered by increase in commission from the lender’s wealth management businesses that benefited from increased volatility in the market and expanded forex trading businesses.

For the first-half of the year, its non-interest income gained 25.6 percent on-year to 167.4 billion won. Interest income inched up 0.1 percent 473.5 billion won, while its net interest margin dropped 0.19 percentage points to 1.25 percent in the cited period.

By Jung Min-kyung (