Standard & Poor's reported that China's banks, including the country's big four state banks, averaged a 1.2% return on assets in 2003 (worst case: 0.5%) and warned that to sustain 15% asset growth while maintaining a 5% equity-to-asset ratio, lenders had to increase their return on assets (before provisions and taxes) to 2.1%, assuming 20% of earnings were to go to dividend payouts.
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