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Thursday, April 30, 2015, 16:07

China's largest banks' Q1 profits wane

By Xinhua

China's largest banks' Q1 profits wane
A branch of the China Construction Bank is seen in Shanghai on March 25, 2013. ( AFP PHOTO / Peter PARKS)

BEIJING - Amid China's economic slowdown and a lackluster global environment, the five largest Chinese commercial banks witnessed a deceleration in net profits in the first quarter (Q1).

The Big Five - the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of China, the China Construction Bank (CCB) and the Bank of Communications - all reported net profit growth of less than 2 percent in Q1, the Xinhua-run China Securities Journal reported Thursday, citing figures from the banks' Q1 business reports.

The growth recorded was much lower than the rates registered one year ago, when three of the Big Five reported a double-digit net profit growth.

The world's second largest economy grew 7 percent year on year in Q1, the lowest quarterly growth rate since 2009.

Of the five largest commercial lenders, ICBC, CCB and the Bank of Communications managed to register a double-digit growth in operating revenues in the first quarter on a yearly basis.

Profit growth at the major banks has been anemic as the economy enters a period of slower growth, but mid- and small-sized banks fared better than the banking titans as they were quicker to change their financing strategies, analysts said.

The Bank of Beijing raked in net profits of 5 billion yuan (US$818 million) in Q1, up 10 percent from a year earlier, while the Industrial Bank registered 14.8 billion yuan in net profits, representing a spike of 11.4 percent from the previous year.

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