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SHANGHAI, March 26 (Reuters) - Bank of China (BoC) posted on Wednesday an 11 percent increase in fourth-quarter net profits, beating estimates, as China's fourth-largest lender rigorously controlled costs.
Net profit rose to 36.7 billion yuan ($5.9 billion) in the fourth quarter, up from 33.1 billion yuan in the same 2012 period, according to Reuters calculations based on full-year profit figures.
The profit is slightly above the average estimate of 34.2 billion yuan made by six analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
For 2013, net profit rose 12.5 percent to 156.9 billion yuan from 139.4 billion yuan a year earlier.
BoC's non-performing loan ratio was flat at 0.96 percent at end-December compared to end-September.
Net interest income increased by 10.4 percent in 2013, while gains in net fees and commissions rose 17.4 percent.
The bank's net interest margin was 2.24 percent at the end of the fourth quarter, from 2.22 percent at the end of the previous quarter.
$1 = 6.2024 Chinese Yuan Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom and Gabriel Wildau; Editing by Miral Fahmy