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Bank of Communications Q3 net up 22%, growth slows
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08:59, October 31, 2008

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Bank of Communications, in which Europe's biggest bank HSBC owns a 18.6 percent stake, said yesterday its third-quarter net profit rose 21.7 percent on strong loan demand and higher fee income.

The growth, shrinking sharply from the 81 percent recorded in the first half of this year due to the global financial crisis, resulted in a net profit of 7.21 billion yuan for the nation's fifth-largest lender between July and September.

So far about a dozen listed banks have released their third-quarter results, showing diminished growth because of mounting economic uncertainty, a narrowing interest margin and rising loan defaults.

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, partly owned by financial giant Citi, more than doubled its net profit between July and September, with its 151 percent growth in the first nine months being the highest among the listed banks that have revealed their performance so far.

China Merchants Bank, the country's sixth-largest lender, posted 50 percent growth in net profit between July and September on interest and fee-based income. But net profit, standing at 5.75 billion yuan, shrank 17 percent compared with the second quarter of this year.

"Except for Pudong bank, nearly all financial institutions have suffered a slowdown in their profit growth," said Everbright Securities analyst Jin Lin. "Several of them also revealed a rise in non-performing loans."

To deal with the slowdown, Bank of Communications said it will keep diversifying its business scope and accelerate its strategic transformation.

The bank will strengthen its support for small- and medium-sized enterprises, said Yu Yali, the bank's vice-president and chief financial officer.

Source: China Daily

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