(ATTN: UPDATES stock prices in last para)
SEOUL, April 23 (Yonhap) -- KB Financial Group Inc., a major South Korean banking group, said Thursday its net profit fell 12.6 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier due to losses from equity ties with its brokerage unit.
Net profit for the three months ending March 31 stood at 739 billion won (US$601.4 million), down from 845.9 billion won a year earlier, KB Financial said in a regulatory filing.
The banking group said the decline in net profit is blamed on KB Securities Co.'s shift to a net loss in the first quarter from a year earlier.
KB Financial said its net interest income rose 4.3 percent on-year to 2.34 trillion won during the first quarter, with its net interest margin, a key barometer of profitability, falling 0.14 percentage point to 1.84 percent.
At the end of March, KB Financial's total assets stood at 544.9 trillion won, up 5.1 percent from the end of last year.
Flagship KB Kookmin Bank reported a net profit of 586.3 billion won during the January-March period, up 35.6 percent from a year ago.
Shares in KB Financial Group fell 0.63 percent to 31,300 won, underperforming the broader KOSPI's 0.98 percent gain.
BOK's rate cut in the offing, but 'when' still being debated
BOK again faces rate cut pressure on new coronavirus risk
BOK to keep policy rate steady amid signs of recovery
Wealth management service increasingly popular in S. Korea
BOK tipped to continue monetary easing, at least another rate cut in offing