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RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, China

China Construction Bank profit up 16% to $7.3bn

The figure fell short of analysts’ $ 7.72bn forecast.

China Construction Bank Corp., China's largest mortgage bank, said Friday its third-quarter net profit rose 16% from a year earlier, a slowdown from the first half amid a cooling local property market.

The state-run bank, 5%-owned by Bank of America Corp., said its net profit for the July-September period grew to 46.19 billion yuan (US$7.27 billion) from 39.76 billion yuan a year earlier on higher net interest and fee income.

The gain lagged CCB's 31% first-half net profit rise, highlighting the bank's challenges as China boosts efforts to keep housing prices in check.

Five analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had predicted the lender would post a third-quarter net profit of 49.11 billion yuan.

Meanwhile, China Merchants Bank Corp.'s third-quarter net profit rose 33% from a year earlier because of rapid growth in interest and fee income, the nation's sixth-largest lender by assets said Friday.

Merchants said net profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 was 9.79 billion yuan, up from 7.38 billion yuan. The result was better than the average 9.20 billion yuan forecast of six analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires. The bank's net profit totaled 28.39 billion yuan in the January to September period, up 38%.

View the full story in The Wall Street Journal.

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