Agricultural Bank of China is in discussions to undertake more than 20 debt-to-equity deals, after signing agreements with eight companies, Reuters reports. The eight deals were valued at about $10 billion. The bank earlier said it had prepared for the establishment of a specialized institution for debt-to-equity swaps. AgBank on Tuesday reported an 8.7% on-year profit growth for the fourth quarter ended December, boosted by higher fee and commission income. But net interest margin dropped to 2.25% at end-December, compared with 2.31% at end-June, the eighth straight quarter in which margins have been squeezed. The bank’s non-performing loan ratio (NPL), a key indicator for credit quality, eased to 2.37% at end-December, from 2.39% at end-September. AgBank plans to settle 120 billion yuan in NPLs this year, said chief risk officer Li Zhicheng.
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