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Paraguay's 15 banks posted combined profits of 333bn guaraníes (US$83.2mn) in the first three months of the year, up 38.1% compared with the same period in 2010, thanks to continued strong loan portfolio growth, according to figures released by central bank BCP.
The subsidiary of Brazil's Itaú Unibanco (NYSE: ITUB) and the local unit of Spain's BBVA (NYSE: BBVA) posted the biggest profits in January-March at 76.6bn guaraníes and 64.6bn guaraníes, respectively. Locally owned Banco Continental came in third with 54.5bn guaraníes in earnings.
The banking sector reported ROA and ROE for the quarter of 3.07% and 30.1%, respectively, from 2.68% and 28.8% a year prior.
Net loans totaled 26.9tn guaraníes as of March 31, up 33.9% compared with the same time in 2010, and the banking system's non-performing loan (NPL) ratio improved to 1.45%, from 1.61% a year prior.
Deposits rose 14.1% during the 12 months through March to 35.7tn guaraníes, with banks posting combined equity of 4.54tn guaranies.
Paraguay's banks had a total of 47.8tn guaraníes in assets as of end-March, and equity of 5.2tn guaraníes.