,Hong Kong

Bank of East Asia's profit plunges 49.9% to $3.2b in 2019

The decline was attributed to an increase in impairment losses in Mainland China.

The Bank of East Asia (BEA) recorded a 49.9% decline in profits to HK$3.2b in Q4 2019 from HK$6.5b in 2018 over a significant increase in impairment losses in Mainland China, according to a news release.

Basic earnings per share stood at HK$0.89 that year, down from HK$2.07 in 2018. Operating profit after impairment losses also plunged 63.3% to HK$2.5b from HK$4.3b.

Net profit on sale of assets held for sale in 2019 amounted to HK$18m, mainly contributed by a HK$105m profit on the disposal of several properties in Hong Kong, partly offset by a loss of HK$94m on the disposal of certain subsidiaries in Mainland China and an associated company in Indonesia.

Conversely, net interest income rose by 11.9% to HK$14.5b as net interest margin increased from 1.73% to 1.85% and average interest-bearing assets grew 4.9%.

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