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SDB Claims Sharp Rise of Profits in First Half
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Domestic-listed Shenzhen Development Bank (SDB) posted a strong first-half result with net profits jumping 176 percent year on year to 464 million yuan (US$58 million).

The healthy profits are mainly attributed to the marked drop in the non-performing loan ratio in the half-year operational report issued by the company on Friday.

Net profits for the first half of the year are nearly 50 percent higher than for the whole of 2005, according to the revised domestic accounting standards imposed by the Ministry of Finance.

The ratio of non-performing loans to total lending dropped to 8.3 percent from 10.7 percent in the same period of last year.

The bank recovered nearly 950 million yuan (US$119 million) problem loans during the period, with 197 million yuan (US$22 million) of non-performing capital being written off.

The bank's total deposits grew 21 percent in the first half, and loans were up 30 percent.

The bank's lending in the first half year conforms to the government's macro-control policies, eschewing loans to sectors under governmental control and emphasizing consumer credit and loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) and Core CAR were both 3.58 percent at the end of June, up from 3.14 percent and 3.15 percent a year ago.

However, the ratio is still less than half the regulatory minimum of eight percent.

SDB is the only Chinese bank controlled by foreign shareholders. Its proposal to float previously non-tradable shares on the market failed to win shareholder approval last month.

The SDB said in the report that it will solicit shareholders' opinions and make new reform proposals once the three-month period following the rejection of the first proposal has elapsed.

The bank, which is controlled by the US private-equity firm New bridge Capital, has signed an agreement with GE Consumer Finance (GECF) which would allow GECF to acquire newly issued SDB shares valued at US$100 million. The agreement is awaiting approval from regulatory authorities and shareholders.

(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2006)

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