Asia: China’s ICBC reported better-than-expected Q3 profit growth of 3.3%

China’s top lender by assets, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), posted a 3.3% rise in its third-quarter net profit. ICBC’s net profit rose to 75 billion yuan (US$11.3 billion) for the three months through September from 72.6 billion yuan a year ago. Whereas, forecasts had suggested a 2.5% net profit growth for ICBC, one of the world’s largest banks by market capitalisation and assets.

ICBC’s non- performing loan (NPL) ratio fell to 1.56% in September from 1.57% a quarter ago. The NPL ratio measures the amount of borrowed money which the borrower has not made the scheduled payments for at least 90 days, over total loans. Apart from that, ICBC also reported improvement in net interest margin - the difference between interest paid and earned, which has risen to 2.17% compared with 2.16% in June.

According to RFi Group data, ICBC holds the highest main bank market share (19%) in China, followed closely by Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China, which hold 18% and 16% market share respectively. The improvement in bank’s profitability is likely to increase the overall confidence in China’s banking industry.

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