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ICBC net profit up 0.5% y-y, BOC up 0.74% y-y


03-31-2016 11:26 BJT

Two of China's biggest banks have announced only fractional increases in 2015 net profits, and have warned of growing risks from bad loans as China's economic growth slows. 

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China eked out a 0.48 percent rise in net profit to 277 billion yuan(US$43 billion), better than expected.

ICBC's non-performing loans ratio rose to 1.5 percent in 2015 from 1.1 percent the year before, but the bank said they are doing relatively better than its domestic and overseas peers.

Meanwhile, Bank of China reported that net profit rose 0.74 percent to 171 billion yuan last year. The bank's ratio for bad loans also increased, rising to 1.4 percent from 1.2 percent in 2014.

Both banks cited the slowing domestic economy as the main reason for their listless performances. ICBC vowed to tackle its bad loans while BOC said its NPL level poses no fundamental threats.

"ICBC has maintained a stable and prudent approach with regards to credit growth in the first two months of this year. We have witnessed a loan growth of 220 billion yuan in January and February, almost the same compared to last year," said Yi Huiman, president, ICBC.

“We have looked into 110,000 accounts and loan books of our clients, especially those with too high leverage ratios and inventories in overcapacity industries. ICBC has a large black list and we will use the government's and market-oriented measures to deal with these problems, and restructure our loan book."

"The non-performing loans of Chinese banks are exposed now, but are not considered high compared to western peers. The NPL level of the entire banking industry is only about 2 percent, and it's okay. We rarely do see the bad loans of big banks exceed 2 percent. Therefore, it fundamentally doesn't pose much danger," said Tian Guoli, chairman, Bank of China.

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