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

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

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

* Proceeds to boost core capital adequacy ratio, which was 8.34 pct in June

HONG KONG, Nov 25 (Reuters) - China Everbright Bank's profit is growing "at a healthy rate" though non-performing loans are increasing, the lender said ahead of its $2 billion Hong Kong listing.

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

The profit report is likely to pique interest in China Everbright Bank Co Ltd's third attempt at listing in Hong Kong in as many years. Pre-marketing is likely to start later this week and a road show could commence next week, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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

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

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

China Everbright's core capital adequacy ratio (CAR) - a measure of the strength of bank balance sheets - was 8.34 percent 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 global co-ordinators for the offer.

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