China's 14 listed banks gained a combined net profit of 338.6 billion yuan ($49.6 billion) in the first nine months of this year, up 2.15 percent year-on-year, the Securities Times reported Monday.
The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest bank by market value, topped the list with 100 billion yuan, while China CITIC Bank, Bank of Ningbo, China Merchants Bank and Huaxia Bank saw their net profits decline in the first nine months.
The quality of the listed banks' assets has improved, according to the banks' third quarter financial statements. Non-performing loans of ICBC, China Construction Bank and China Minsheng Banking Corp dropped to 1.68 percent, 1.57 percent and 0.82 percent by the end of September from 1.81 percent, 1.71 percent and 0.86 percent at the end of June respectively, the Beijing Times reported.
Provisional coverage of Bank of Beijing and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank reached 212.45 percent and 212.84 percent respectively, higher than the 150 percent level required by the banks' regulator, according to the Beijing Times.
Their profits should continue to expand in line with the improvement of asset quality in the fourth quarter, the newspaper said, adding that banks' credit costs are also declining and will decline more in the fourth quarter, which would bring banks more value.
The banks' performances will see a much more robust growth in the fourth quarter due to relatively timid figures from last year, which will probably make the 14 listed banks' annual growth rate stand above 18 percent year-on-year, Wu Yonggang, senior banking analyst with Guotai Junan Securities, was quoted by the Securities Times as saying.
With their profits continuing to increase as well as relatively small figures in the fourth quarter of 2008, the growth rate of China's banking industry is expected to reach between 15 and 20 percent, and will probably be even more than 20 percent in 2010, the Beijing Times said, citing Shi Lei, chief financial analyst with TX Investment Consulting.