September 7, 2018 / 8:03 AM / in 8 months

Hungarian banks' H1 earnings fall 17.4 pct year on year - central bank

BUDAPEST, Sept 7 (Reuters) - The Hungarian banking sector’s after-tax profit fell 17.4 percent in annual terms to 300 billion forints ($1.1 billion) in the first half of 2018, the National Bank of Hungary said on Friday.

The difference was mainly due to changes in depreciation and risk reserves, figures published on the central bank’s website showed.

Hungarian banks are mostly unlisted. The biggest is OTP , which is also Central Europe’s largest independent lender.

Operating costs rose by 77 billion forints as, after changes in IFRS accounting rules, costs from a special banking tax and transaction fees appeared in that line.

But that was more than counter-balanced by a 92 billion forint rise in non-fee revenues.

The drop in profits reduced the return-on-assets (ROA) of Hungarian banks to 1.5 percent in the second quarter from 1.7 percent in the first quarter, while return on equity fell to 13.8 percent from 15 percent.

Hungarian banks boosted their assets by 3.7 percent in the second quarter, the central bank said, with lending jumping by 5.2 percent.

The ratio of non-performing loans within total loans fell to 5.1 percent from 5.7 percent in the previous quarter.

$1 = 279.8000 forints Reporting by Sandor Peto; Editing by Mark Potter

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