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October 31, 2015

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Home » Business » Finance

Net profits at ICBC, BoCom slow

THE Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Bank of Communications both saw their earnings in the first nine months of this year slow from the same period a year ago, as banks struggle with rising bad loans and sluggish loan demand amid China’s slowest economic growth in 24 years.

ICBC, the country’s biggest listed lender, yesterday said its net profit grew 0.59 percent year on year to 221.8 billion yuan (US$35.1 billion) in first three quarters, compared with a 7.3 percent increase a year earlier.

Its net interest income, usually the biggest contributor for most Chinese lenders, gained 4.7 percent to 379.9 billion yuan during the period.

The bank’s bad loan ratio rose to 1.44 percent by September from 1.4 percent by June, resulting in total non-performing loans of 171.4 billion yuan at the end of the third quarter, according to the bank.

It was a similar situation at BoCom whose net profit edged up just 1 percent to 52 billion yuan in the nine-month period, slowing from a 5.8 percent rise in the same period a year ago.

The non-performing loan ratio at the country’s fifth-biggest bank rose to 1.42 percent at the end of September compared with 1.35 percent at end of June as “credit risks are rising,” it said in a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange yesterday.

On Thursday, the country’s other three biggest lenders all said their profit growth dropped and asset quality worsened.

Raymond Yung, financial services leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers China, predicted zero or negative growth in profit for some Chinese banks by the end of fourth quarter or in 2016.


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