China Everbright Bank says profit, NPLs up ahead of HK listing

Reuters

* Profit rises 14 pct to $3.56 billion in January-September

* Pre-marketing for third attempt at HK listing likelystarting this week

* Proceeds to boost core capital adequacy ratio, which was8.34 pct in June

HONG KONG, Nov 25 (Reuters) - China Everbright Bank's profitis growing "at a healthy rate" though non-performing loans areincreasing, the lender said ahead of its $2 billion Hong Konglisting.

Net profit rose 14 percent to 21.7 billion yuan ($3.56billion) in January-September, the Shanghai-listed lender saidin a filing on Monday.

The profit report is likely to pique interest in ChinaEverbright Bank Co Ltd's third attempt at listing inHong Kong in as many years. Pre-marketing is likely to startlater this week and a road show could commence next week, peoplefamiliar with the matter told Reuters.

Mainland initial public offering markets have been closedfor more than a year, so Chinese lenders are turning to HongKong to bolster balance sheets as bad debts pick up while growthslows in the world's second-biggest economy.

But new offers have met with weak demand. Huishang Bank Corp Ltd and Bank of Chongqing - whichtogether raised about $1.8 billion over the past two months -had disappointing debuts. Both stocks are trading below theirIPO prices.

Bad loans at China's banks climbed 24.1 billion yuan to 563billion yuan as at September-end, the steepest quarterly risesince the fourth quarter of 2005.

China Everbright's core capital adequacy ratio (CAR) - ameasure of the strength of bank balance sheets - was 8.34percent as of June 30, among the lowest compared with its peers.Proceeds from the listing would help boost the ratio.

China International Capital Corp, China Everbright Capital,Morgan Stanley and UBS AG are joint globalco-ordinators for the offer.

J.P Morgan Chase & Co withdrew its involvement inthe offer, Reuters reported, as U.S. regulators investigate itshiring practices in China.

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