28 August 2009

Santander Chile Rises Most in Three Weeks on Earnings

By Nathan Gill
Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Banco Santander Chile, the country’s biggest lender, rose the most in three weeks after reporting profit that exceeded some analysts’ projections.

The Santiago-based bank gained 2.7 percent, the most since Aug. 3, to 27.72 pesos. The unit of Spain’s Banco Santander SA reported net income of 219.2 billion pesos ($398 million) this year through July, Chile’s banking regulator wrote in an e-mailed report yesterday, without giving the monthly figure. Profit rose to 35 billion pesos in July, a 19 percent increase from the previous month while interest margins, a measure of lending profitability, also gained 19 percent, according to Bloomberg calculations.

“The monthly results were slightly higher than our expectations,” German Serrano, an analyst at BanChile Inversiones, said in a telephone interview. Consumer loans “broke their downward trend” and “should begin a return to expansive growth in the next few months.”

Banks in Latin America also rose after Goldman Sachs Group said its bullish on loan growth in the region.