The latest round of quarterly reports for the Chinese banking sector indicates that four out of the big six state-owned lenders saw a decline in their non-performing loan ratios in the first three months of the year.
As of the evening of 29 April 32 Chinese A-share banks had completed the release of their 2018 annual reports and their 2019 first quarter reports.
Four out of China’s six big state-owned banks reported declines in their non-performing loan ratios to varying degrees, including Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), Bank of Communications (BoCom), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Postal Savings Bank of China, while two banks, Bank of China (BOC) and China Constructions Bank (CCB) saw NPL ratios hold steady.
The big six state-owned banks collectively saw net profits of 317.42 billion yuan, for an increase of 16.3 billion yuan, or 5.41%, compared to the same period last year.
ICBC was the most profitable bank in the first quarter, posting net profits of 82.69 billion yuan for a YoY increase of 4.58%.
Postal Savings Bank saw the largest increase in net profits, however, following a full year performance slightly below market expectations for 2018.
In the first quarter of 2019 Postal Savings Bank saw net profits of 18.549 billion yuan, for a YoY rise of 12.28%.
CCB, ABC and BOC all saw first quarter net profits of over 50 billion yuan, at 77.925 billion yuan, 62.121 billion yuan and 54.788 billion yuan respectively.
BOCOM lagged far behind its big state-owned peers, with net profits of 21.347 billino yuan.
ICBC also took the lead in terms of operating revenues, with a YoY increase of 10.17% to 201.808 billion yuan in the first quarter.
CCB, ABC and BOC followed in its wake, with first quarter operating revenues of 187.066 billion yuan, 173.031 billion yuan and 141.034 billion yuan respectively.
ICBC’s assets stood at 29.25 trillion yuan as of the end of the first quarter, for an increase of 1.55 trillion yuan, or 5.59%, compared to the end of 2018.
CCB, ABC and BOC all reported assets of over 20 trillion yuan at the end of the first quarter, at 24.19 trillion yuan, 23.66 trillion yuan and 21.62 trillion yuan respectively.
BOCOM is the smallest out of China’s big six state-owned banks in asset terms, at 9.79 trillion yuan at the end of March.
Postal Savings Bank saw its assets rise by 6.59% compared to the end of 2018 to reach 10.14 trillion yuan.