ICBC's NPL ratio in 2009 drops, overseas assets increase

21:00, March 01, 2010      

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The non-performing loans (NPL) ratio of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest bank by market value, stood at 0.56 percent in 2009, down from 2.29 percent the previous year, ICBC said in a statement Monday.

The ICBC's NPL ratio was also lower than the NPL ratio of the industry as a whole, which stood at 1.58 percent last year, according to the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).

The ICBC's NPL ratio has fallen for six years in a row. The ICBC attributed the good performance in the bank's NPL ratio to its strict loan controls and new types of loans.

All the overseas outlets of ICBC profited during 2009. Its overseas assets increased by 22.9 percent in 2009 to 49.2 billion U.S. dollars, according to the statement.

The statement did not provide the specific proportion of the bank's overseas assets to its total assets in 2009.

The CBRC issued two directives on working capital loans and personal loans on Feb. 21. The directives ordered banks to manage risk carefully and to verify that loans are used for their intended purposes.

The two directives were the latest measures to guard against bad loans after Chinese banks lent massive amounts in 2009.

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