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Bank's coffers swell by 23.7%
( 2003-08-13 13:56) (China Daily HK edition)

The Hong Kong branch of the Bank of Communications yesterday reported a significant increase in first half earnings with an optimistic note on its prospects.

Its after-tax profit rose 23.7 per cent to HK$173 million (US$22.2 million).

The branch of the mainland's fifth largest commercial bank said the growth was partly contributed by its non-interest business such as sales of unit trusts, retail bonds and stock-related business.

The bank's other operating income surged 224.95 per cent to HK$94.1 million (US$12.1 million) from a year earlier. The bank also made a windfall profit of HK$60.77 million (US$7.79 million) from dealing in foreign currencies, up 160.15 per cent.

Charges for bad and doubtful debts amounted to HK$163.5 million (US$20.96 million), up 20.1 per cent from a year earlier.

Chen Ruqi, the bank's general manager, said the bank would take full advantage of development opportunities by expanding its asset base and improving the quality of its assets.

It will expedite development of new products and continue to focus on non-interest income businesses, such as the issuing of deposit certificates to strengthen its market competitiveness.

The bank will also provide different kinds of value-added products and services to customers, in co-ordination with its various subsidiaries in securities, insurance, trust and finance, he said.

Deputy General Manager Guan Huanfei said that the bank would consider issuing dual-currency credit cards jointly with its head office.

When asked whether the bank is considering a public listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange, Guan said the bank has no immediate plan to do so.

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