Monday, March 31, 2008

China CITIC Bank sees 2008 loan growth at 17 pct

China CITIC Bank Corp <>, the country's seventh-largest lender, said it expected 17 percent loan growth in 2008, down from 24.8 percent in 2007 due to China's tighter monetary policy.

The bank will face challenges from official limits placed on loan growth by the Chinese government this year and by intensifying competition in the industry, Chief Executive Officer Chen Xiaoxian told a news conference.

CITIC Bank <>, of which Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria owns 4.83 percent, reported a net profit of 8.32 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) in 2007, compared with 3.86 billion yuan in 2006.

Total outstanding loans surged 24.8 percent to 578 billion yuan at end-December while total deposits from customers reached 787 billion yuan, an increase of 27.3 percent, according to international accounting standards.

Hong Kong shares in CITIC Bank closed up 3.84 percent at HK$4.06 on Thursday, outpacing a 0.21 percent rise in the benchmark Hang Seng Index <.HSI>.

(US$1=HK$7.8=7.0125 yuan)

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