Quarterly profit at East West Bancorp in Los Angeles increased because of loan growth and higher fee income.

The $34.8 billion-asset company said in a press release late Wednesday that its fourth-quarter earnings rose 21% from a year earlier to $110.7 million, or 76 cents a share.

Net interest income increased by 10.4% to $272.7 million. Total loans rose by nearly 8% to $25.5 billion. The net interest margin widened by 5 basis points to 3.31%.

Noninterest income rose by 10% to $48.8 million. Fee income from derivative increased b7 47%.

Noninterest expenses increased by 3.4% to $149.9 million.

The company recorded a $10.5 million loan-loss provision, compared with a $2 million reversal to the provision a year earlier.

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