China banks took 29 pct of 2011 global profit - study

LONDON Sun Jul 1, 2012 7:04pm EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Chinese lenders accounted for almost a third of global bank profit last year, up from 4 percent in 2007, as they grabbed market share given up by struggling European peers, according to The Banker magazine's annual rankings.

Three Chinese banks topped the profit table, led by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) (601398.SS) for the second successive year, with pretax earnings of $43.2 billion, according to The Banker.

ICBC was followed by China Construction Bank (601939.SS), which delivered a $34.8 billion profit, and Bank of China (601988.SS), with earnings of $26.8 billion.

JPMorgan (JPM.N) was fourth with a profit of $26.7 billion, while HSBC (HSBA.L) was the most profitable European bank, with earnings of $21.9 billion.

Bank of America (BAC.N) topped the magazine's Top 1,000 list for the second year, which uses Tier 1 capital as a measure of a bank's ability to lend on a large scale and endure shocks.

JPMorgan was second in that table, with four Chinese banks in the top 10 for the first time -- ICBC ranked third, CCB was sixth, Bank of China ninth and Agricultural Bank of China (601288.SS) 10th.

National Bank of Greece (NBGr.AT) reported the biggest loss last year - $17.4 billion, followed by Belgian group Dexia (DEXI.BR).

Euro zone banks accounted for 6 percent of global profit last year, compared to 46 percent five years ago and their 45 percent share of global assets, the Banker estimated.

In contrast, Chinese banks accounted for 29.3 percent of global profit last year, the magazine said.

It said the Tier 1 capital of Bank of America was $159 billion at the end of 2011, slightly down from a year before but $9 billion more than JPMorgan.

Bank of America also topped The Banker's first Top 1,000 list 42 years ago, when it was based on assets rather than capital.

(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Dan Lalor)