East West Bancorp's profit jumps 20% on strong loan growth

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Strong loan growth across all major lending categories propelled East West Bancorp to double-digit profit gains in the third quarter.

The Pasadena, Calif., bank said Thursday that earnings rose 20% year over year to $132.7 million, or 91 cents a share. East West beat an 86-cents-a-share consensus estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

The $36.3 billion-asset bank reported double-digit growth in commercial and industrial loans, commercial real estate loans and specialty loans to the private-equity, entertainment and energy industries, the bank's president, Greg Guyett, said on a conference call.

Dominic Ng, East West's chairman and CEO, said the bank had a "great performance" in the third quarter and that asset quality "remains excellent."

Ng said the bank does not foresee any significant credit issues due to the impact from recent hurricanes in Texas and the Southeast, and wildfires in California. East West has more than 130 branches in the U.S. including in California, Georgia and Texas; it also has branches in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

East West's total loans rose 15% to $28.5 billion. Total deposits hit a record $31.3 billion, up 10%.

The bank reaffirmed its 2017 outlook for loan growth to increase "in the low double digits for the full year."

East West sold its insurance brokerage business, East West Insurance Services, during the quarter for a pretax gain of $3.8 million. The bank's revenue, adjusted for the sale, rose 15% to $349 million.

Meanwhile, nonperforming assets fell 32 basis points to $117 million.

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Earnings Commercial lending CRE Regional banks
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