Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) reported a first-quarter operating profit of US$4.9 billion, up 71% year-on-year, the South China Morning Post reported, citing state media. Lending grew by 5% to US$882.9 billion during the period. Non-interest income rose 53% to US$854.1 million. The paper also cited a separate state media report as saying that a management reshuffle at China’s four largest banks would quicken Agricultural Bank’s plans for a public listing. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) board secretary Pan Gongsheng may be tapped as Agricultural Bank’s vice-president in order to help with the lender’s stock restructuring plan. Pan played a key role in the restructuring of ICBC prior to its 2006 listing. Several of China’s other major banks have reported strong first-quarter profit growth.
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