ECONOMY

Is Bank posts 90 pct rise in profits

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Is Bank, Turkey’s second-largest lender by market value, said on Friday its nine-month net profit rose 90 percent to 1.36 billion lira ($1.1 billion). Is Bank said in the third quarter net interest income rose 5 percent year-on-year while income from fees and commissions rose 14 percent. Trading income leapt 167 percent to 391 million lira, it said in a short statement. In the nine-month period it said cash and consumer loans rose 44 percent. Earlier this week, leading lender Akbank said its loans grew just 1 percent in the third quarter, sending its stock sharply lower and taking other banking shares with it. Turkey’s high interest rates – hiked sharply last year amid a market sell-off and rising inflation – are holding back loan growth while consumer confidence data show Turks remain pessimistic. But the central bank began easing rates earlier than expected in September, since when it has cut the benchmark borrowing rate a total 75 basis points to 16.75 percent. The start to the easing cycle has helped banking shares and the banking index has outperformed the market with a 12 percent rise since the September 13 meeting. Is Bank, whose owners include Turkey’s main opposition party CHP, has risen 16 percent this year, compared to a 40 percent rise on the Istanbul banking index.