KB Financial Group Inc., South Korea\'s No. 2 banking group, said Friday its third-quarter earnings jumped more than six-fold on higher interest income and smaller loan-loss provision. Net profit came to 579 billion won (US$524 million) in the July-September period, compared with 90.6 billion won a year earlier, the group said in a regulatory filing. But net income declined 29.2 percent compared to the second quarter when it logged a one-off profit by selling stakes in Hyundai Engineering & Construction. The third-quarter bottom line was lower than the market consensus of 636.1 billion won in a poll of analysts by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news arm of Yonhap News Agency. A rise in net income came as the group\'s provisions to cover credit loss fell 55.3 percent on-year to 288 billion won. Its profit margin also improved from a year earlier because it could charge more interest on loans amid the central bank\'s tight bias. The group\'s net interest margin (NIM), a key barometer of profitability, reached 3.07 percent as of the end of September, up from 2.62 percent a year earlier. KB Financial is expected to see its NIM stay at the current level or trend slightly higher in the fourth quarter, its chief financial officer Yoon Jong-kyoo said at an investor conference. Shares of KB Financial closed at 45,000 won on the main bourse, up 4.17 percent from Thursday\'s close. The third-quarter business results came out after the market closed. Kookmin Bank, the flagship unit of the group, logged a net profit of 316.2 billion won during the last quarter, up 251 percent from a year ago. The group\'s total assets reached 363.6 trillion won as of the end of September, up 30.2 trillion won from the end of last year. Meanwhile, KB Financial said it plans to move to lower its short-term foreign currency debts to below the 30-percent level in a bid to brace against a possible worsening of global uncertainties. \"The portion of short-term foreign currency debts once reached 43 percent (of all foreign currency debts), but now it stands below 40 percent. In the long term, KB Financial plans to lower it to below 30 percent,\" Yoon said, adding the financial group plans to secure funds from Asia as part of efforts to diversity funding sources.