Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ICBC 2007 profit soars 64.9% on commission fees

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)<601398><1398>, the largest lender in the country, registered net profit surged 64.9% years-on-year to hit RMB 82.3 billion in 2007 according to international accounting standards, said the lender in the annual earning report released on Tuesday.

The Beijing-based lender ascribed the prominent growth to the surging commission fees, which vaulted 110.4% year-on-year to a record RMB 34.4 billion last year, driven by mutual fund distribution, custodian services and credit cards, accounting for 13.4% of its total operating revenue. The non-performing ratio declined 1.05% from a year earlier to 2.74% at the end of 2007.

ICBC has embarked on an overseas expansion spree. It acquired a 20% stake in South Africa's Standard Bank Group Ltd for US$5.5 billion, positioning itself the largest shareholder in the latter.

It operates 112 overseas branches in 122 countries and regions, which generated a combined RMB 6.04 billion in operating revenue last year, according to the report.

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