May 14, 2019 / 6:44 AM / 2 months ago

Bank of Georgia's quarterly profit boosted by solid lending

May 14 (Reuters) - London-listed Bank of Georgia’s first-quarter adjusted earnings jumped 10.4% as lending rose supported by a robust economy, but its net interest margin shrunk as new rules hit unsecured consumer lending.

The lender said adjusted net profit rose to 112.2 million laris ($41.07 million) for the three months ended March 31 from 101.7 million laris reported a year earlier. Reported profit edged up 0.3 percent, hit by one-off costs related to executive terminations.

In comparison, Georgia’s biggest retail lender and Bank of Georgia’s main rival TBC Bank Group reported a surge in first-quarter profit this week, helped by a strong loan book.

Bank of Georgia’s net interest margin dropped to 5.8 percent from 7 percent due to a sharper focus on lending in the mortgage segment and to lower margin corporate and SME (small and medium enterprise) clients on the back of tighter rules for unsecured consumer lending. ($1 = 2.7320 laris) (Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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