In Focus
RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, China
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Profit growth in China's top 10 banks slows to 16.9%

That is compared to the 34.2% profit growth in the first semester of 2011.

The deceleration by over 100% was reported by PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong. The company's report said the fall was due to interest cuts by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) that increased liquidity in financial markets and widened the gap between banks' loans and deposits.

Total profit growth rate for these banks reached an average of 16.9% for six months to June 30 compared to 34.2% in the corresponding period last year and 28.0% over 2011.

These banks' total assets rose 10.1% to US$12 trillion at the end of June compared to the same period last year These assets comprised 77% of the total value of China's banking sector.

Non-performing loans rose 1.5% to US$56 billion over the first half of 2011.

PBOC also launched a stringent review into bank service charges and introduced a range of innovative treasury products that have combined to limit the activity of these banks in the Chinese financial system.

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