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RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, China
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10 Chinese banks surpass expected profits in first half

 Ten Chinese commercial banks reported higher-than-expected net profits of 244.7 billion yuan or 72.11 billion U.S. dollars.

Most realized year-on-year increases of over 30 percent.

This transpired amid government tightening measures in the first half of the year.

The ten banks include China Construction Bank, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Minsheng Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, China Everbright Bank, Huaxia Bank, Shenzhen Development Bank, China Merchants Bank and Industrial Bank.

The net profits of China Minsheng Bank and Shenzhen Development Bank rose the most, with year-on-year rises of 56.98 percent and 56 percent, respectively, during the period.

The increases were boosted by strong growth in the banks' net interest incomes and intermediary businesses, the Shanghai Securities News 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.

An analyst expalined that credit tightening contributed to the fast growth of the banking sector's intermediary businesses also grew fast.

The full story is available at Xinhua News.

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