SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Yonhap) — South Korean savings banks reported 9 percent growth in their combined net profit for the first nine months of this year, supported by a modest rise in interest income, data showed Thursday.

The combined net income of the 79 savings banks stood at 1.02 trillion won (US$918 million) for the January-September period, compared with a profit of 935.7 billion won a year ago, according to the data by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

Their interest income rose 8.9 percent on-year to 4.8 trillion won, while loan-loss provisions jumped 24.4 percent on-year to 1.1 trillion won.

Their loan delinquency ratio edged up 0.1 percentage point to 3.8 percent at the end of September, according to the data.

The average capital adequacy ratio of the savings banks reached 14.61 percent at the end of September, down 0.22 percentage point from nine months earlier.

A key barometer of financial health, the ratio measures the proportion of a bank’s total capital to its risk-weighted assets. The Bank for International Settlements, an international organization of central banks based in Basel, Switzerland, advises lenders to maintain a ratio of 8 percent or higher.

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