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Bank of China's H1 profit down
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Bank of China (BOC), the country's largest foreign exchange bank, said Thursday its net profit in the first half of the year fell 2.51 percent from a year earlier to 41.12 billion yuan (6.02 billion U.S. dollars).

This is slightly lower than the net profit of 42.18 billion yuan in the first half last year, as a surge in lending was offset by smaller interest rate margins as a result of repeated rate cuts by the central bank.

But net profit in the second quarter improved, up 21.45 percent from the first quarter to 22.53 billion yuan, the country's third largest commercial bank by assets said in its half-year report.

Outstanding loans stood at 4.2 trillion yuan at the end of June, up from 3.19 trillion yuan at the end of last year, the bank said.

Total assets of the bank rose 18.06 percent year on year to 8.21 trillion yuan at the end of June.

The Beijing-based lender said its net interest income dropped 8.34 percent from a year earlier to 74.72 billion yuan.

Net fee and commission income from intermediary services edged 2.6 percent higher to 22.96 billion yuan, it said.

New yuan-denominated loans made by the bank in the first half amounted 896.25 billion yuan, up 38.32 percent from the end of last year, it said.

The bank reported a 14.42-percent rise in net profit in 2008, down from a 31.33-percent rise in 2007.

(Xinhua News Agency August 27, 2009)

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