bank holding firms-2012 earnings

SEOUL, March 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's bank holding companies saw their earnings slide 5.6 percent last year from a year earlier largely due to one-off costs from an acquisition and economic slowdown, the financial regulator said Wednesday.

The combined net profit of 10 local bank holding firms stood at 8.37 trillion won (US$7.49 billion) in the January-December period, down 495.3 billion won from the previous year, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

The on-year dip is mainly attributable to increased costs as No. 3 lender Hana Financial Group Inc. completed its takeover of fifth-largest lender Korea Exchange Bank in early 2012, the FSS said.

Also, the launch of NongHyup Financial Group Inc. in March last year reduced their combined net profits, it said. Nonghyup, or the National Agricultural Cooperatives Federation, debuted its holding company as part of a reshuffle to shift into a financial group.

No. 4 lender Shinhan Financial Group Co. basked in the biggest net profit of 2.04 trillion won, followed by Hana Financial with 1.38 trillion won and second-largest KB Financial Group Inc. with 1.38 trillion won.

Woori Finance Holdings Co., the country's largest lender by assets, came last with a net profit of 1.28 trillion won, the FSS said.

Financial holding companies' capital adequacy ratio came to 13.23 percent as of the end of December, almost unchanged from 13.24 percent the previous year.

Meanwhile, the combined assets of the holding firms reached 1,828.7 trillion won at the end of 2012, up 27.7 percent from a year ago, according to the regulator.

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