Agriculatural Bank of China, which is awaiting a government bailout, earned more than 70 billion yuan (US$9.3 billion) in operating profit in the first nine months, the China Securities Journal reported, citing president Xiang Junbo.
The bank's bad loan ratio fell 2.45 percentage points, the report said. In the third quarter, the bank uncovered 12 fraud cases involving 18.3 million yuan, down 47 percent from a year earlier.
Chinese banks advanced 3.08 trillion yuan of new loans in the first eight months, exceeding the central bank's full-year target of 2.5 trillion yuan.
The bank, which holds 12 percent of China's US$4.7 trillion of banking assets, has the worst asset quality and most employees among the big four state-owned lenders.
Larger rivals received government bailouts, sold stakes to foreign strategic investors and prepared for initial share sales.
(Shanghai Daily October 19, 2007)