Cathay General Bancorp (CATY) in Los Angeles reported flat quarterly earnings as higher expenses offset gains from securities sales.

The $10.6 billion-asset company reported Wednesday a second-quarter profit of $29.9 million, unchanged from the second quarter of 2012. Earnings per share of 35 cents met the expectations of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

Net interest income increased 1%, to $80 million, as loans grew 4.5%, to $7.7 billion. Net interest margin increased by 6 basis points, to 3.30%.

Noninterest income more than doubled, to $20.4 million, primarily due to an increase of $9.8 million on gains from sale of securities.

Noninterest expense increased by 14%, to $53.7 million, primarily due to a $10.1 million penalty on debt prepayment.

Cathay made no provision for credit loss, after recording a credit of $5 million in the second quarter last year. Net loan recoveries were $939,000 this year, compared with $2.56 million last year.

In May, Cathay announced plans to enter the Las Vegas market. In March, it repaid half the money it received through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

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