Bank of Hawaii Corp. in Honolulu said Monday that its fourth-quarter earnings rose 3% from a year earlier, to $40.5 million as growth in noninterest income was offset by higher credit costs and a lower margin.

The $12.41 billion-asset company reported noninterest income of $80.8 million, up 48% from a year earlier. It attributed the increase to $25.7 million it earned on the sale of securities, namely the liquidation of its private-label mortgage securities.

That gain offset a $26.8 million loan-loss provision, which was up 45% from a year earlier.

Bank of Hawaii's net interest income fell nearly 2% and the net interest margin was 3.57%, down 85 basis points from a year earlier, because of lower interest rates and the company's new strategy to minimize interest rate risk on investments.

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