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Bank of Shanghai cuts bad loans while earnings drop 22% last year
13/1/2006 11:17

Shanghai Daily news

The Bank of Shanghai cut its bad-loan ratio to below 4 percent after disposing of nonperforming debt worth 2.76 billion yuan (US$342 million) late last year as it prepares for an overseas listing.
Earnings, however, slid 22 percent last year for undisclosed reasons.
The city lender, 8 percent of which is held by HSBC Holdings Plc, reported that bad loans accounted for 3.92 percent of total debt as of December 31, down from nearly 5 percent a year earlier, according to a corporate statement published yesterday.
The debt transfer slashed the lender's nonperforming loans to 2.76 billion yuan for the period.
The bank sold the liabilities in a December auction to China Cinda Assets Management Co, one of the country's four state-owned entities in charge of managing banks' nonperforming loans.
The bank did not say how much it recovered in the deal.
The Bank of Shanghai posted pretax profit of 1.41 billion yuan for 2005, compared with 1.8 billion yuan a year before, yesterday's statement said.
Total deposits at the lender, in which the World Bank's International Finance Corp also owns a 7 percent stake, were 200.3 billion yuan, up 9 percent from the end of 2004.
Loans outstanding jumped 12 percent on-year to 120 billion yuan at the end of December while assets grew 9 percent to 240 billion yuan.
The statement, however, did not reveal the bank's capital adequacy ratio or specify the reasons for its financial-result changes. Bank officials were not available for comment yesterday.
"Stiffer competition from bigger state-owned banks may have contributed to the earnings drop," said Wu Zhiguo, a Guohai Securities Co analyst. "Besides, costs probably rose as the bank was on track to expand out of the city."
The Shanghai-based bank last month became China's first city commercial lender to open branches outside its home base, winning government approval to kick off operations in the nearby city of Ningbo, Zhejiang Province.
The branch, with initial working capital of 100 million yuan, may open as early as mid-March.
The lender plans to open one or more branches each year in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, Chairman Fu Jianhua said last month. It also has plans to expand business to Beijing and Tianjin, he said.
The Bank of Shanghai is cleaning up its balance sheet as it prepares for an initial public offering overseas. It has yet to propose a timetable.