March 26, 2018 / 9:47 AM / 25 days ago

China's AgBank Q4 profit up 10.7 pct as net interest margins improve

BEIJING, March 26 (Reuters) - Agricultural Bank of China Ltd (AgBank) , the country’s third-largest lender by assets, on Monday reported a 10.7 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit on improved net interest margins.

AgBank’s net profit for October-December rose to 33 billion yuan ($5.3 billion), from 29.8 billion yuan a year ago.

Net interest margin - the difference between interest paid and earned and a key gauge of bank profitability - rose to 2.28 percent at end-December, versus 2.24 percent by end-June and 2.25 percent at the end of 2016.

AgBank said its non-performing loan ratio fell to 1.81 percent as end-2017 from 1.97 percent at the end of September.

The numbers were in line with preliminary results announced earlier this month. ($1 = 6.2686 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Shu Zhang and Engen Tham; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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