October 10, 2019 / 2:51 PM / 8 months ago

Brazil banks' profitability rises to seven-year high -central bank

BRASILIA, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The profitability of Brazil's banking sector in the first half of this year rose to its highest since 2012, the central bank said in its latest Financial Stability Report on Thursday, with private sector institutions putting in a record performance.

Banks' return on shareholder equity (ROE) rose to 15.8% in June, up 1.1 percentage points from December 2018 and the highest since March 2012.

Looking at private sector banks only, ROE rose to 16.5% in June from 15.6% at the end of last year, the highest level since the central bank began compiling the data series in 2011.

Looking ahead, the central bank said this trend is expected to "cool slightly" as cost cutting and efficiency gains slow. (Reporting by Marcela Ayres Writing by Jamie McGeever)

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