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East West Bancorp, Inc. (“East West”) (Nasdaq: EWBC), parent company of East West Bank, the financial bridge between the United States and Greater China, today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2012. For the fourth quarter of 2012, net income was $71.9 million or $0.49 per dilutive share. For the full year 2012, net income was $281.7 million and net income available to common stockholders was $1.89 per dilutive share.
“East West earned a record $281.7 million for the full year 2012 and $71.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2012. This is the third consecutive year of record net income for East West and the eighth consecutive quarter of earnings per share growth,” stated Dominic Ng, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of East West. “During 2012, East West performed well on all significant fronts including: loan growth, commercial deposit growth, expense control and credit quality. Year over year, East West grew non-covered commercial and trade finance loans by $1.1 billion or 35% to a record $4.2 billion, and increased core deposits by $1.9 billion or 18% to a record $12.2 billion. This growth was achieved while we maintained strong expense control and improved the efficiency ratio for the full year to 42.3% and reduced the nonperforming assets to total assets ratio to 63 basis points.”
“For the full year 2012, our return on assets totaled 1.29%, up 13% compared to prior year and our return on equity totaled 12.29%, up 11% compared to prior year. With our strong earnings power, healthy balance sheet and capital levels, once again, I am pleased to announce that the Board of Directors of East West Bank has approved an increase in the common stock dividend and has authorized a new stock repurchase program. The annual common stock dividend has been increased 50% to $0.60 per share and another stock repurchase program for $200.0 million has been authorized for 2013. As the premier financial bridge between the East and the West, we continue to win new business and grow our market share as evidenced by our solid financial results year after year, and we look forward to delivering a strong financial performance in 2013 and beyond,” concluded Ng.