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RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, China
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China banks post impressive first half profits

Most of the 10 lenders had over 30% net profit rise in the same period.

Ten Chinese commercial banks reported higher-than-expected net profits of 244.7 billion yuan ($72.11 billion) amid government tightening measures in the first half of the year, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Friday.

According to the ten banks' half-year reports released as of Tuesday, most saw year-on-year rises of over 30 percent in their first-half net profits, the report said.

The increases were boosted by strong growth in the banks' net interest incomes and intermediary businesses, the report cited analysts as saying.

"The banking sector's net interest incomes rose on the back of interest hikes and banks' enhanced pricing ability for loans," the report said, quoting an analyst with Bank of Communications.

To contain liquidity, the government has adopted a prudent monetary policy and maintained a tight credit supply this year. The central bank has hiked the benchmark interest rate three times in 2011.

"Due to credit tightening, the banking sector's intermediary businesses also grew fast," an analyst with a state-owned bank said in the report.

View the full story in Xinhua.

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