China Construction Bank said its first half net profit rose 12.6 percent annually — its weakest performance since 2010 — while bad loans increased.
The net profit for the nation’s second biggest lender was 119.7 billion yuan (US$19.5 billion) in the first six months of this year, up from 106.3 billion yuan posted a year earlier.
But the growth rate slowed from 14.6 percent in the first half of 2012, according to a stock exchange filing yesterday.
In 2011 CCB’s first-half earnings growth was 31.2 percent, and 26.8 percent in 2010.
As China accelerates liberalization of interest rates, as revealed by Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, last week, big lenders expect to see their earnings growth momentum slow further.
Minsheng Securities said in a report that CCB’s net profit growth will further slow in the second half of this year. It predicts CCB’s net profit at 212.7 billion yuan this year.
The bank’s outstanding non-performing loans increased from 74.6 billion yuan by the end of last year to 80.3 billion yuan by the end of June.
Meanwhile its bad loan ratio stayed at 0.99 percent from the end of last year. But it was higher than all commercial banks’ average of 0.96 percent, according to the China Banking Regulatory Commission.
CCB’s net interest income rose 10.6 percent year on year to 187.7 billion yuan in the first half, slower from the 16.5 percent in the same period in 2012. Net interest margin, a measure of loan profitability, was flat at 2.71 percent.
The Bank of Communications, China’s fifth-biggest lender, said last week its net profit jumped 12 percent in the first half to post its weakest first-half growth in four years.