Four of China’s so-called ‘Big Five’ state-owned banks have warned that profits will continue to be pressured in the second half of the year, as slowing growth in the world’s second-biggest economy hits borrowers and saps lenders’ margins. Chinese banks also face rising volumes of sour debt, forcing a quicker pace of write-offs – even as a series of rate cuts has chipped away at their interest income. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China (BoC), Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of Communications all warned of tough times ahead. Reuters reports ICBC’s margins narrowed to 2.21% at end-June from 2.28% a quarter earlier, while those at BoC slipped to 1.9% from 1.97%.
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