China's third-largest lender posted a 28.3% jump in profits for the first half of the year. The results put Bank of China in line with public expectations of strong performance since going public earlier this year. Profits rose to US$2.49 billion, on track for a target of US$4.14 billion in net profits by year-end, the South China Morning Post reported, though some market watchers expected the bank of China to realize profits of almost US$4.7 billion in 2006. China Construction Bank, BOC's closest domestic rival, posted an increase in earnings last week of 13.3% for the first half. CCB's operating profits were US$4.3 billion, 63.5% of which came from domestic operations.