BEIJING, April 27 (Reuters) - China’s third-largest lender, Agricultural Bank of China Ltd (AgBank) , reported on Friday a 5.43 percent rise in first-quarter net profit as bad loan ratios fell.
AgBank said net profit for the first three months of the year totalled 58.74 billion yuan ($9.27 billion), versus 55.7 billion yuan a year ago.
Three analysts on average had forecast profit growth of 6.7 percent for the quarter, according to data compiled by Reuters.
AgBank’s non-performing loan ratio fell to 1.68 percent by end-March, from 1.81 percent at end-December.
The volume of NPLs fell by 7.1 billion yuan over the three-month period from 194 billion yuan at end-December. ($1 = 6.3366 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Engen Tham in Shanghai, Shu Zhang and Matthew Miller in Beijing; Editing by Neil Fullick)