AgBank of China 2012 profit rises 19 percent, misses estimates

HONG KONG, March 26 Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:35am EDT

HONG KONG, March 26 (Reuters) - Agricultural Bank of China Ltd, the country's No.3 lender, reported a 19 percent rise in 2012 net profit, missing analyst estimates, as the central bank's interest rate cuts sliced loan margins.

Net profit increased to 145.1 billion yuan ($23.36 billion) from 121.9 billion yuan in 2011, the bank said. That compares with expectations for a 147.6 billion yuan profit, according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S survey of 28 analysts. ($1 = 6.2107 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Kelvin Soh; Editing by Ryan Woo)