ICBC becomes the world's most profitable bank
Updated: 2008-08-22 09:10

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the country's largest lender, said on Thursday its first half after-tax profit totaled 64.88 billion yuan ($9.47 billion), which made it the world's most profitable bank.

The earnings marked a year-on-year increase of 56.75 percent during the first six months, the bank said in a statement.

ICBC said the biggest profit came on greater fee incomes and better operations to evade risks from the US subprime crisis, which has ravaged profitability in many of ICBC's international competitors.

Total assets hit 9.40 trillion yuan as of June 30, up 8.2 percent from the end of 2007. Earnings per share reached 0.19 yuan.

Non-performing loans accounted for 2.41 percent of total credit volume at the end of June, down 0.33 percentage points from the end of 2007, while its capital adequacy ratio was 12.46 percent.

Its shares declined 2.86 percent to 4.76 yuan on the Shanghai bourse while the Hong Kong-traded shares closed 2.1 percent lower to HK$5.12 ($0.66).

In a previous report released last month, ICBC expected its unaudited first half net profit to jump more than 50 percent from a year earlier to over 61.26 billion yuan.

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