China’s Big Four state-owned banks this week all announced second quarter earnings that surpassed analyst estimates, Reuters reported. They released combined first-half earnings growth of 12.5%. However, profit growth at Chinese banks is expected to slow sharply this year as new loan growth moderates and profit margins get squeezed by policy reforms allowing banks to offer higher rates on customer deposits. The China Banking Association said last month it expects net profit growth for China’s 17 listed banks to slow to 8% in 2013 from 19% in 2012. Chinese lenders’ shares are currently the cheapest in the Asian market.