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News Summary: Chinese banks' profit growth slows

The Associated Press

SLOWING GROWTH: Two of China's biggest state-owned banks reported their slowest profit growth in years amid an economic downturn and interest rate reforms.

BY THE NUMBERS: Bank of China said Tuesday that profit grew 12 percent to 139.4 billion yuan ($22.4 billion). Agricultural Bank of China's earnings rose 19 percent to 145 billion yuan.

THE BACKGROUND: Profit growth slowed as the world's second-largest economy underwent a painful slowdown in 2012. Growth has also been hurt by the government's easing of interest rate controls.