Bad loans at Chinese banks rise $4 bln in Q3-regulator

SHANGHAI Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:15pm EST

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SHANGHAI Nov 16 (Reuters) - Bad loans at Chinese banks rose 22.4 billion yuan ($4 billion) in the third quarter to a total 478.8 billion yuan, while the non-performing-loan ratio ticked up slightly from the previous quarter to 0.95 percent, China's banking regulator said.

Bad loans for the first nine-months of the year at large commercial banks -- including Bank of China , Agricultural Bank of China , Industrial and Commercial Bank of China -- were 307 billion yuan, with a non-performing loan ratio of 1 percent, the Banking Regulatory Commission said on Thursday.

Bad loans at the big banks rose 5 billion yuan in the third quarter, while bad loans at rural banks rose 6 billion yuan to 48.7 billion yuan, with a non-performing loan ratio of 1.65 percent.

Banks' exposure to high risk ventures, particularly in the property sector and outside regular lending channels in off-balance sheet "shadow banking" transactions, has worried investors and ratings agencies.

China's two top banking officials earlier this week played down the risks of bad debts to the banking system.

($1 = 6.2334 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Richard Pullin)