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Mexico's Banorte first-qtr profit rises on strong loans

MEXICO CITY, April 27 Mexico's Grupo Financiero Banorte, the country's fourth-largest bank by assets, on Thursday reported a 24 percent rise in first-quarter profit, boosted by strong performance of its loan portfolios.

Banorte, the largest Mexican-owned bank in the country, said profit rose to 5.53 billion pesos ($295 million) during the January-March period, up from 4.46 billion during the same period in 2016.

Its corporate portfolio registered a year-on-year increase of 14 percent to 102.3 billion pesos, while its commercial portfolio grew 10 percent to reach 123.5 billion pesos. Its consumer loan portfolio, which amounted to 211.62 billion pesos, grew 19 percent.

The bank's non-performing loan portfolio fell to 1.8 percent from 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2016.

Shares of Banorte closed down 0.17 percent before results were released.

($1=18.7275 pesos on March 31)

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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