Chase's Profit Climbs 7% in First Quarter

Chase Manhattan Corp. said Monday that its first-quarter profit rose 7% from a year earlier, thanks to higher net interest income and operating earnings.

Chase, the nation's third-largest bank holding company and parent of Chase Manhattan Bank, said net income climbed to $143.7 million from $133.9 million a year earlier.

Chase said the improvement came despite a 37% increase in its provision for possible loan losses to $130 million from $95 million a year earlier.

Chase's net interest income--which is interest income minus interest expenses and the loan-loss provision--rose 12% to $618.5 million from $550.8 million.

Chase said its latest results also were helped by increases in most fee-based operations, foreign exchange trading, dealer trading profits and sales of investment securities.

The company also recorded a $15-million after-tax gain from its sale of a minority interest in a Japanese leasing company. Its interest expense slipped 4% to $1.42 billion from $1.47 billion.

But the company also said increases in operating expenses and the higher loan-loss provision helped limit its gains.

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