Cathay General Bancorp of Los Angeles had income of $17.3 million for the third quarter compared with a net loss of $17.7 million a year earlier.

The parent company of Cathay Bank, one of the nation's largest Chinese-American banks, said late Tuesday that the turnaround largely stemmed from declines in its chargeoffs, problem loans and loan-loss provision.

Net chargeoffs, at $18 million, fell in tandem with Cathay's loan-loss provision, which dropped 76%, to $17.9 million compared with a year earlier.

Similarly, net chargeoffs declined 20% from the second quarter and 68.4% from the third quarter of 2009.

The $11.3 billion-asset Cathay also marked a turning point with its loan portfolio, posting a slight increase of 0.01%, to $6.9 billion in gross loans as of Sept. 30 compared with Dec. 31.

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