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China?s ICBC says profit rises 6.03% on fees, loan growth


    BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest bank by market value, said Monday its first-quarter net profit rose 6.03 percent from a year earlier on loan growth and a pick-up in income from intermediary services.

    Net profit in the first three months was 35.3 billion yuan (5.19 billion U.S. dollars), or 0.11 yuan per share, up from 33.28 billion yuan, or 0.1 yuan per share in the first quarter last year.

    The bank said in its first-quarter report that its income from fees and commissions for services such as credit cards and fund sales played an important role in sustaining the growth in overall profits.

    The ICBC's income from fees and commissions increased 9.66 percent in the first quarter to 13.5 billion yuan, it said.

    The lender offered new loans of 636.4 billion yuan in the first quarter, 457.7 billion yuan more than a year ago, amid a surge in bank loans as the government strived to fuel the slowing economy by encouraging more credit.

    The ICBC also said its customer deposits reached 9.1 trillion yuan at the end of the first quarter, an increase of 900 billion yuan from the end of last year, to become the world's top holder of bank deposits.

    The non-performing loan ratio was 1.97 percent at the end of March, 0.32 percentage points lower than the end of last year.

    The bank's loan-deposit ratio stood at 57.6 percent at the end of March, despite a surge in new loans. ICBC said this laid a solid foundation for its sustained growth in the future.

    The ICBC outperformed its smaller rival China Construction Bank in the first quarter. The latter said Friday that its first-quarter net profit fell 18.2 percent from a year earlier to 26.3 billion yuan.

    ICBC shares dropped 5.9 percent to 4.02 HK dollars on expectations that American Express and Allianz are considering selling their stakes in the lender.

    Shares in Shanghai slipped 0.75 percent to 3.99 yuan. Trading in Shanghai ended before the lender's first-quarter results were announced.