Though it is still addressing significant credit issues, Saehan Bancorp in Los Angeles appears to be on the upswing.

It reported a $5.9 million first-quarter loss late Tuesday, about 75% narrower than in the fourth quarter. A year earlier it reported a loss of $73,000.

The $650 million-asset company reported that its Saehan Bank unit is well capitalized, with a total risk-based capital ratio of 15.4%. This comes after a $60 million infusion raised in a March private placement. At Dec. 31 the total risk-based ratio was 5.7%, leaving the bank significantly undercapitalized.

"Results for the first quarter reflect significant progress in restoring the bank's financial position," Chung H. Youk, the president and chief executive officer, said in a press release.

The improved financial picture has allowed Saehan to become more aggressive in dealing with problem assets. It charged off $10.3 million in the first quarter, more than double its fourth-quarter chargeoffs and five times more than its chargeoff total a year earlier.

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