Bank of China Q1 profit rises 5 pct, bad loan ratio dips

BEIJING, April 27 (Reuters) - Bank of China Ltd (BoC) , the country’s fourth-biggest lender by assets, posted a 5 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Friday, slightly below analyst estimates.

Profit was 49 billion yuan ($7.73 billion) in the three months ended March 31, up from 46.6 billion yuan a year earlier.

The result compared with an average estimate of 50.17 billion yuan from three analysts surveyed by Reuters.

BoC said its non-performing loan (NPL) ratio was 1.43 percent at end-March, against 1.45 percent at end-December.

Its NPLs topped 159.6 billion yuan at end-March compared with 158.5 billion yuan at end-December.

The bank’s net interest margin (NIM) - the difference between interest paid and earned - was 1.85 percent at the end of March, up from 1.84 percent at the end of December.

Bank of China, in a separate filing, said that its board of directors had voted to approve the issuance of not more than 40 billion yuan in write-down undated capital bonds and not more than 80 billion yuan in write-down Tier-2 capital instruments. ($1=6.3373 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Shu Zhang and Matthew Miller; Editing by Neil Fullick)