Non-performing loans (NPL) among the five major Chinese
state-owned banks hit 1.11 trillion yuan (about 155.3 billion U.S.
dollars) in 2007, up 35.13 billion yuan from the third quarter.
For the five banks, the NPL ratio hit 8.05 percent, 0.22
percentage points higher than the third quarter, the China Banking
Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said on Friday.
The five lenders refer to the Bank of China, China Construction
Bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Agricultural
Bank of China and the Bank of Communications.
Analysts explained the NPL rebound in the five banks might
result from the sub-prime loan crisis in the United States,
especially for the Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial
Bank of China.
The crisis has had little effect on other Chinese banks who have
little overseas business.
With outstanding NPL standing at 86.04 billion yuan, 12 Chinese
joint-stock commercial banks reported a 2.15 percent ratio of NPL
last year, a drop of 0.26 percentage points from the third quarter,
the CBRC said.
The NPL ratio of city commercial banks declined to 3.04 percent
in 2007 from 3.67 percent in the third quarter.
(Xinhua News Agency February 15, 2008)