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Chinese Banks' Assets Rise 15.7 Pct

Chinese banks held 222.9 trillion yuan ($32.84 trillion) in assets at the end of September, the country's banking regulator said.


The figure represented an increase of 15.7 percent year on year,according to a statement posted on the website of the China Banking Regulatory Commission.


As of September, lenders' liabilities rose 15.5 percent to reach 205.9 trillion yuan.


Banks reported slower profit growth during the first three quarters, partly due to a cooling economy.


Net profits of commercial lenders grew at a mild rate of 2.83 percent year on year to 1.33 trillion yuan during the first nine months, the statement said.


In the third quarter, the banking sector continued to give financial support to agriculture, small-and-micro enterprises as well as affordable housing projects.


Outstanding agriculture-related loans stood at 27.6 trillion yuan at the end of September, up 8 percent year on year. Outstanding loans to small-and-micro firms hit 25.6 trillion yuan, up 13.7 percent.


Loans to pay off credit card debt and loans to affordable housing projects surged 19 percent and 57.5 percent during the first three quarters, outpacing average loan growth.


Commercial banks' non-performing loans (NPL) increased by 56.6 billion yuan to 1.49 trillion yuan at the end of September. The NPL ratio was 1.76 percent, compared with 1.75 percent at the end of June. An NPL is a loan that is in default or close to being in default.


The capital adequacy ratio of commercial lenders stood at 13.31 percent at the end of September, up 0.2 percentage point from the end of June, the statement said, adding that banking liquidity remained ample.


(Xinhua News Agency November 10, 2016)


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