The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, one of the country’s four major stateowned banks, announced a pre-tax profit rise of 15.8 per cent in 2001 to Yn5.89bn. A bank spokesman attributed the increase to improved efficiency and asset quality. During 2001, the bank cut staff numbers by 47,000 to 429,000 and closed 3,400 lossmaking outlets.
Non-performing loans accounted for 29.8 per cent of its total loans last year, a drop of 4.65 percentage points from 2000.
The bank took provision of Yn17.48bn against its nonperforming loans and wrote off Yn11bn in unpaid interest and other losses. It said that it aimed to reduce the non-performing loan ratio to below 10 per cent within five years. The bank’s president said in April that he expected pre-provision profits to rise to more than 17 per cent in 2002 by promoting mortgages and other consumer loans to reduce bad debts. However, in commenting on the 2001 results, the bank spokesman said that this year’s situation was generally less favourable due to adverse factors such as interest rate cuts.
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