China Merchants Bank said its first-half earnings rose 116.42% despite limited non-interest income, the South China Morning Post reported. In a statement filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the bank said that subdued market sentiment had affected retail banking and its intermediary business. However, profits reached US$1.9 billion over the first six months of the year thanks to expanding net interest margins, non-interest income, lower taxes and loan loss provisions. The bank’s US$255 million in bond exposures to US mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also returned a gain of US$830,000 at the end of June. The earnings report has led to expectations of positive reports from other Chinese banks despite a tight credit environment.
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