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Bank of China says profit rises 14.42% in 2008
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The Bank of China (BOC), the world's third largest lender by market value, said on Tuesday that its full-year profit rose 14.42 percent to 64.36 billion yuan (US$9.33 billion) in 2008.

The total asset value was 6.95 trillion yuan by the end of last year, up 16.03 percent from a year ago. The bank's liability rose 16.63 percent to 6.46 trillion yuan.

The bank attributed the profit rise to the increase in its business revenue, cost saving and the income tax reduction.

The bank issued 3.3 trillion yuan of loans in 2008, up 15.63 percent year on year, and the bank's deposit jumped 15.95 percent to 5.1 trillion yuan, BOC said.

Its core capital adequacy ratio was 10.81 percent, a high level among its peers, as a result of its continuous efforts in stepping up risk control, the bank said.

The bank also raised its provision coverage ratio to 121.72 percent last year to prevent risks from non-performing loans. That's 15.35 percentage points higher than the 2007 level.

The bank had greatly reduced its investment scale in subprime mortgage bonds in the United States last year, BOC said.

It held US$2.59 billion of subprime mortgage bonds by the end of 2008, registering 1.08 percent of the bank's total investment in securities. The figure was 1.05 percentage points lower than a year earlier.

Net interest income of the BOC rose 6.67 percent to 16.29 billion yuan year-on-year. Fee and commission income surged 12.42 percent to 3.99 billion yuan last year.

The bank's shares rose 0.87 percent to 3.47 yuan Tuesday.

(Xinhua News Agency March 24, 2009)
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