China's ICBC, world's largest bank, sees best third-quarter profit rise in five years

FILE PHOTO: A man walks out of a branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) in Beijing, China April 1, 2019. Picture taken April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Florence Lo

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) 601398.SS, 1398.HK, the world's biggest-listed lender by assets, posted on Friday the fastest rise in third-quarter net profit for five years as growth in soured loans slowed.

Net income for state-controlled ICBC came in at 83.78 billion yuan ($11.85 billion) for the three months through September, up 5.8% from 79.19 billion yuan in the same period a year earlier.

The rate of profit growth was above the average forecast of 4.25% drawn from two analysts surveyed by Reuters.

ICBC’s non-performing loan ratio edged down to 1.44% at end-September from 1.48% at end-June.

Its net interest margin narrowed slightly to 2.26% at end-September from 2.29% three months earlier.

Other major Chinese banks, including Bank of China 3988.HK601988.SS and China Construction Bank 0939.HK601939.SS will report results next week.

Reporting by Cheng Leng in Beijing and Engen Tham in Shanghai; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman