May 24, 2018 / 7:52 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's Caixa Econômica Federal seeks higher capital ratio

(Adds CEO, CFO comments)

SAO PAULO, May 24 (Reuters) - Brazilian state bank Caixa Econômica Federal will not sacrifice profitability to gain market share in loans, Chief Financial Officer Arno Meyer said on Thursday, underscoring the lender's focus on raising its capital ratio in coming quarters.

Earlier in the day, Brazil's biggest mortgage lender reported its net profit had jumped 115 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, to 3.2 billion reais ($877 million), as loan-loss provisions and administrative expenses decreased.

Caixa's loan book declined 2.1 percent in the quarter to 700 million reais. However, Chief Executive Nelson Antônio de Souza said it could grow up to 4 percent in 2018.

$1 = 3.65 reais Reporting by Aluisio Alves and Flavia Bohone Writing by Carolina Mandl Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio

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