China's ICBC H1 profit rises 7 pct, within expectations

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:28am EDT

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI Aug 28 (Reuters) - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China , the country's largest bank by market capitalisation, reported a 7 percent increase in its first half net profit, in line with forecasts, as net interest margins remained steady.

ICBC said its net profit for the January-June period was 148.1 billion yuan ($24.11 billion). A Reuters poll of analysts had forecast a profit of 148.2 billion yuan for the period.

The first-half figure implies a net profit of 74.8 billion yuan in the second quarter, up 7.5 percent from the same year-ago period.

ICBC's non-performing loan ratio increased slightly to 0.99 percent at end-June from 0.97 percent at end-March. ($1 = 6.1423 Chinese yuan) (Reporting By Engen Tham in SHANGHAI and Lawrence White in HONG KONG; Editing by Miral Fahmy)