Bank of East Asia (BEA) reported on February 24 that annual profit for 2020 increased by 10.8%, or by HK$354 million, on year to HK$3.61 billion, from HK$3.26 billion earned in 2019. Pre-provision operating profit fell by HK$1.51 billion, or 15.4%, to HK$8.34 billion. Profit increased mainly due to a significant drop in impairment losses in mainland China, the bank said. The basic earnings per share were HK$0.97 in 2020, from HK$0.89 in 2019. Dividend for the year came in at HK$0.40. The bank’s return on average assets and return on average equity was 0.3% and 3%, respectively, in 2020, compared with 0.3% and 2.7%, respectively, in 2019. Net interest income fell by HK$3.016 million, or 20.7%, to HK$11.55 billion. NIM fell from 1.86 %to 1.48 %, and average interest earning assets fell by 0.4 %. Net fee and commission income grew by by HK$47 million, or 1.6 percent, to HK$2.92 billion.
Net commission income from lending, retail banking services, securities and brokerage and sale of investment products grew, BEA said. This was partly offset by a decline in credit card and trade-related services resulting from the adverse macroeconomic conditions. Taken together, net trading and hedging results and net results from other financial instruments increased by HK$268 million to HK$1.38 billion. Net insurance profit was down by HK$55 million, mainly due to lower mark-to-market gain on financial instruments, the BEA said. Overall, non-interest income increased by 11% to HK$5.76 billion.
Total operating income fell by 12.4% to HK$17.31 billion. Total operating expenses fell by 9.4% to HK$8,963 million, due to declines in staff costs and internet platform charges Operating profit before impairment losses was HK$8.34 billion, down byHK$1.51 billion, or 15.4%, when compared with 2019.
Total deposits of customers increased by 2.7% to HK$589.20 billion.