CSOB 2018 profits reflects Czech bank sector health
The Czech bank CSOB reported a 20 percent jump in profits in 2018 to CZK 4.8bn while its balance sheet grew 10 percent to CZK 223.5bn. The bump in profits were the result of increased interest earnings and the sale of ČSOB Asset Management. The company's loan book rose 5 percent to CZK 700bn, while deposits fell 3 percent to CZK 5bn. The improved figures for 2018 fit a pattern of Czech banks producing improved profits despite a slowing economy. "Net interest income is rising primarily thanks to rising demand for loans," said Tomáš Pfeiler, portfolio manager at Cyrrus, told Hospodářské noviny, noting that money the banks keep in the Czech National Bank is now producing more income thanks to rising interest rates. Ondřej Martínek, a stock analyst at Patria Finance, said banks are also in better shape because the consumers they're lending to are in better financial health. However, he noted that the banks' costs are rising, especially their wage bills.