August 30, 2017 / 9:14 AM / a year ago

Bank of China first-half profit up 11 percent as interest margins widen

BEIJING (Reuters) - Bank of China Ltd (BoC) (3988.HK)(601988.SS), the country’s fourth-biggest lender by assets, on Wednesday reported an 11.5 percent increase in net profit in the first six months of the year on widening net interest margins.

FILE PHOTO: A sign of the Bank of China is seen in Rome, Italy April 11, 2016. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo

BoC said its net profit for the January-June period came in at 103.7 billion yuan ($15.73 billion), versus 93.0 billion yuan in the year-ago period.

The first-half figure implies a net profit of 57.0 billion yuan for the second quarter, up 23 percent from 46.4 billion yuan in the year-ago period, according to Reuters calculations.

Four analysts on average had forecast a profit growth of 3.7 percent for the quarter, according to data compiled by Reuters.

BoC’s non-performing loan ratio fell to 1.38 percent at end-June from 1.45 percent at end-March.

Its net interest margin, the difference between interest paid and earned by banks and a key gauge of profitability, rose to 1.84 percent by end-June from 1.80 percent at end-March.

Reporting By Engen Tham and Matthew Miller; Additional reporting by Shu Zhang; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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