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Bank of North Dakota officials touted another record year of profits Monday, when leadership reviewed its 2016 annual report inside the state Capitol.

Profits for the nation’s only state-owned bank totaled $136.2 million for 2016, eclipsing the previous year’s high of $130.7 million, Bank of North Dakota President Eric Hardmeyer told North Dakota Industrial Commission members.

“Thirteen years of record profits,” Hardmeyer said. “All in all, a record-setting year on many fronts.”

The profits will go to good use, he added. Prior to this year’s legislative session, up to $100 million was requested to be turned over to the state to help balance the budget. It would be the first time since 2007 a portion of profits would be utilized in this manner.

Bank profits would return to the state’s coffers in June, if needed. Over the interim, the state dealt with a budget shortfall of about $1.4 billion, requiring two rounds of cuts to generally funded state agencies.

“Did that give you guys any pause?” Gov. Doug Burgum asked Hardmeyer of the moves made by the bank over the past year.

Hardmeyer said the bank is still in a very strong position and the use of profits wasn’t a major concern.

The bank’s loan portfolio was its largest ever, at nearly $4.79 billion in 2016. This was up $449 million over 2015. There were increases in the bank’s business, agricultural, student and residential loan categories in 2016.

Total assets at the bank saw a slight decrease to $7.3 billion in 2016, down from $7.4 billion the previous year.

The numbers for 2016 marked the third consecutive years the bank had more than $100 million in profits.

Hardmeyer said early estimates put 2017 profits at $140 million to $145 million.

The Bank of North Dakota 2016 annual report can be found at bnd.nd.gov.

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(Reach Nick Smith at 701-250-8255 or 701-223-8482 or at nick.smith@bismarcktribune.com.)

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