SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — Kakao Bank, South Korea’s top internet-only lender, said Wednesday its second-quarter earnings soared nearly ninefold from a year ago due mainly to more interest income.
Net profit came to 26.8 billion won (US$22.5 million) in the April-June period, up 793.3 percent from a year earlier, the lender said in a regulatory filing.
In the first half of the year, the bank’s bottom line also spiked 372 percent on-year to 45.3 billion won.
Kakao Bank, controlled by Kakao Corp., operator of South Korea’s dominant messaging app KakaoTalk, attributed the stellar performance to higher interest income and a fall in losses from its non-interest business.
As of end-June, Kakao Bank’s outstanding loans came to 17.68 trillion won at the end of June, up from 14.88 trillion won six months earlier, with its assets totaling 24.4 trillion won.
Its net interest margin, or the difference between interest paid and interest received, stood at 1.6 percent with the loan delinquency rate reaching 0.22 percent.
Kakao Bank’s capital adequacy ratio, a key barometer of financial soundness, amounted to 14.03 percent as of end-June, down from 14.29 percent three months earlier.
In 2017, Seoul allowed two internet-only banks — Kakao Bank and K-Bank — to offer services around the clock in a bid to inject more competition into the banking sector.