HK-based Bank of East Asia's 2017 profit soars on asset sales

HONG KONG, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia Ltd (BEA) posted a near tripling in profit in its full fiscal year, beating street estimates, bolstered by a sharp jump in income from the sale of some non-core assets as well as a drop in impairment losses.

Net profit was HK$9.3 billion ($1.19 billion) in 2017, up from HK$3.72 billion in the year prior, the lender said. That exceeded the average estimate of HK$6.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data based on forecasts from eight analysts.

The profit included HK$3 billion booked last year from the sale of share registry arm Tricor Holdings Ltd and its units to private equity firm Permira Holdings Ltd, the bank said in its earnings statement on Thursday.

$1 = 7.8266 Hong Kong dollars Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee and Donny Kwok