This represents the first quarterly decline in three years.
Reuters reports that the profits of China Construction Bank dropped 1% YoY to $6.02b (CNY40.55b) in Q4, in a development that represents its first quarterly profit decline since 2015.
The bank attributes the quarterly loss to stronger provisions against rising bad loans amid narrowing interest margins. Total bad loans hit $29.85b (CNY200.88b) which pushed the bank to increase its provision coverage ratio to 208.37 percent, from 171.08% in 2017.
On a full-year basis, the megabank's profits rose 5.11% to $37.84b (CNY254.66b).
Analysts unanimously expect single-digit growth in Chinese bank earnings in line with the slowdown in the world's second largest economy. The earnings of banks traded on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses are likely to rise 6.7% YoY in 2018, according to a forecast from Ping An Securities, which represents a sharp decline when banks in the Mainland reported annualised profit gains of 49% in the decade between 2003-2013 amidst the country’s debt binge.
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