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Major banks' NPL ratio falls to 8.9%
Updated: 2006-01-27 11:11

China's banking watchdog announced Thursday the average non-performing loan (NPL) ratio of major domestic banks dropped to a single digit for the first time, down from 17.2 percent in 2003 to 8.9 percent in 2005.

The Big Four state banks and 13 national shareholding banks are reckoned as the bedrock of China's banking system. The government is overhauling them -- by inviting overseas investors for them and listing them in the stock market -- ahead of the full opening of China's financial industry by the end of this year.

Their current NPL ratio, however, is still well above the 1-2 percent level reported by famous international banks.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission report said major Chinese banks posted 185 billion yuan in pre-tax profits for last year. Their equity capital jumped a year-on-year 24.5 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan, increasing at a faster pace than loans, assets and deposits for the first time.

A total of 53 banks said that their capital adequacy ratio, being a measure of their own capital in proportion to outstanding lending, topped the 8 percent minimum requirement by the international standard.


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