Pre-tax profits of commercial banks in the first half of the year was estimated to total 24.2 trillion VND (1.125 billion USD), up 1.2 percent against the same period last year, vn.economy website quoted a source as saying.

VietinBank, Agribank, Vietcombank, BIDV and Sacombank gained the highest pre-tax profits by the end of June, the sources was reported to have said.

Except for foreign banks with first-half pre-tax profit decreasing by 15.3 percent year-on-year, State-owned and joint stock commercial banks both posted higher results in the period with a rise of 8.8 percent and 4.4 percent.

State-owned banks accounted for 48 percent of the total pre-tax profits of the entire banking system while joint stock commercial banks made up 35 percent of the total profits.

The source said slow lending growth caused a lower net interest income of commercial banks in the first half by 2.8 percent year-on-year.

However, income from the sale of securities and other financial activities rose during the period, offsetting the decline in net interest income and losses from foreign exchange trading.

Operating costs of the whole banking system falling 2.7 percent against the same period last year also helped to raise profits of the whole system. However, higher non-performing loan (NPL) provisions for credit losses increased nearly 12 percent.

Return on equity (ROE) and return on asset (ROA) of the whole banking system were down to 8.6 percent and 0.9 percent.-VNA