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Mainland banks boost assets 20 percent

Mainland banks increased their overall assets by 20 percent last year with midsized joint-stock institutions leading the sector, according to China Banking Regulatory Commission data released yesterday.

The pan-sector bad-loan ratio stood at 6.17 percent at the end of 2007, an improvement from 6.63 percent at the end of the first quarter.

The largest five state-owned banks - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications and Agricultural Bank of China - held 1.11 trillion yuan (HK$1.205 trillion) of bad loans at the end of 2007, representing 8.1 percent of total advances. Ten midsized lenders collectively held 86 billion yuan in nonperforming loans, or 2.2 percent of their total lending. Overall asset growth in 2007 amounted to 52.6 trillion yuan on the back of a rosy economic outlook. Total liabilities expanded by 18.8 percent to 49.56 trillion yuan.

Joint-stock commercial banks such as CITIC Bank, Merchants Bank, Everbright Bank, Guangdong Development Bank and Shenzhen Development Bank outperformed their larger state-owned peers with an average asset growth rate of 33.2 percent. Their combined assets represent 13.8 percent of banking sector market capitalization. The big five grew assets by 15.6 percent and saw their market share decline to 53.2 percent. At the end of the first quarter it stood at 55.2 percent.

Source: The Standard
Date: 14.02.2008 [166]

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