RETAIL BANKING | Tony Chua, China

Bank of China third quarter profit up 9% to $4.7bn

Yet profit is below expected $4.91bn while AgBank’s $5.36bn profit is above the expected $5.33bn.

Agricultural Bank of China Ltd and Bank of China Ltd , the country's No.3 and No.4 lenders, on Wednesday reported contrasting third-quarter earnings, raising concern about BOC's revenue stream.

Bank of China (BOC) said its July-September net profit rose a lower-than-expected 9 percent to 29.79 billion yuan ($4.68 billion), missing expectations for 31.22 billion from a survey of 11 analysts polled by Reuters.

Declining quarter-on-quarter revenue at BOC was a surprise, said James Antos, a Chinese banking analyst with Mizuho Securities in Hong Kong.

"We have a revenue trend this year where the revenue peak was in the first quarter, it dropped in the second quarter and now it's dropped again in the third quarter," Antos said. "Revenue seems to be heading south, slowly but consistently."

BOC's provision costs were also down dramatically from the second quarter at about half the level, Antos noted.

"Why would you have reduced the provision cost? It's because apparently you are having a problem at the revenue line," he said. "And I'd say that's absolutely the case."

View the full story in Reuters.

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