Bank of China announced an operating profit for the first nine months of 2004, up 23.7% on the same period last year, despite a sharp drop in new loans. The country's largest foreign exchange lender said operating profit for the first three quarters came in just under US$5.8 billion. For the first nine months of 2003, operating profit rose by just over 16%. The Bank of China is undergoing an overhaul of its assets and seeking to shed non-performing loans ahead of a much-anticipated stock listing in the second half of 2005 that analysts say could raise up to US$4 billion.
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