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

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

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

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.

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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