The slowing economy appears to have hit Agricultural Bank of China, the country’s fourth-largest bank by assets, as profits for last year undershot analysts’ forecasts by growing only 8% to RMB179.5 billion (US$28.94 billion), South China Morning Post reported, citing comments from the bank’s chief risk officer Song Xianping. The bank saw a jump in its non-performing loans, from 1.29% at the end of September to 1.54% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, rising to a total of RMB125 billion; it also wrote off RMB21.9 billion in bad loans. The bank is the first of China’s four major banks to report earnings for 2015.
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