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BoCom earnings double in Q1
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09:24, April 30, 2008

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Bank of Communications (BoCom), which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this week, posted a 108 percent jump in profit in the first quarter on the back of a rise in lending.

The nation's fifth largest lender, in which Europe's biggest bank HSBC owns 18.6 percent, recorded a net profit of 7.89 billion yuan in the first three months of the year, while total assets reached 2.27 trillion yuan, up 7.39 percent from the beginning of 2008.

The results meet the forecasts. The bank was expected to earn between 7.5 and 8 billion yuan from January to March, according to Jin Lin, an analyst from Industrial Securities.

Net interest income rose 50.16 percent to 16.5 billion yuan in the period, while it maintained a core capital adequacy ratio of 9.82 percent as of March 31.

"Thanks to the rapid expansion of the economy and our steady growth in lending, we have achieved outstanding results in the first three months," Yu Yali, the bank's vice-president and chief financial officer, said yesterday.

In addition to widening the interest margin, the Shanghai-based bank made tremendous progress in the intermediary business, she said, as its first-quarter net fee and commission income surged 70.28 year-on-year to 2.1 billion yuan.

But the bank expanded its provisions for potential non-performing loans by about 42 percent in the first quarter, anticipating uncertainties in the global and domestic economies and the tightening monetary policies at home.

"We forecast the tightening policies to continue for some time," said Qian Wenhui, the bank's executive vice-president. "All our decisions were made on the basis of these forecasts, and the credit structure will be adjusted accordingly."

He said the bank is ready to deal with further rises in the reserve requirement ratio and interest rates. "We are confident of maintaining steady growth for the whole year."

Source: China Daily

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