1398.HK - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited

HKSE - HKSE Delayed Price. Currency in HKD
5.450
+0.010 (+0.18%)
At close: 4:08PM HKT
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Previous Close5.440
Open5.440
Bid5.440 x 0
Ask5.450 x 0
Day's Range5.410 - 5.480
52 Week Range4.810 - 6.190
Volume165,145,700
Avg. Volume187,843,783
Market Cap2.182T
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.02
PE Ratio (TTM)5.84
EPS (TTM)0.934
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield0.28 (5.23%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-06-25
1y Target Est7.53
  • What Kind Of Shareholders Own Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (HKG:1398)?
    Simply Wall St.

    What Kind Of Shareholders Own Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (HKG:1398)?

    If you want to know who really controls Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (HKG:1398), then you'll have...

  • What Did Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited's (HKG:1398) CEO Take Home Last Year?
    Simply Wall St.

    What Did Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited's (HKG:1398) CEO Take Home Last Year?

    Shu Gu became the CEO of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (HKG:1398) in 2016. This report will, first...

  • Cango Inc. (CANG) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript
    Motley Fool

    Cango Inc. (CANG) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript

    CANG earnings call for the period ending June 30, 2019.

  • Ohio's Great Chinese Power Conspiracy Theory
    Bloomberg

    Ohio's Great Chinese Power Conspiracy Theory

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- An entity dubbing itself “Ohioans For Energy Security” has a warning for the good people of the Buckeye State:The Chinese government is quietly invading our American electric grid; intertwining themselves financially in our energy infrastructure.Before we get into the details of the one-minute ad in which a suitably ominous voice intones those words over much footage of President Xi Jinping, some context: Ohio recently passed legislation to subsidize struggling nuclear and coal-fired power plants, while also weakening incentives for renewable power and energy efficiency. The law benefits several incumbent power companies, especially FirstEnergy Solutions Corp., the bankrupt merchant-generation arm of utility FirstEnergy Corp. In response, opponents are busy gathering signatures for a petition to put a referendum aimed at scrapping the law on the November 2020 ballot.The ad warns Ohioans about such people approaching them to sign. And while the ad doesn’t go on to say this, I think I am duty-bound to point out that those clipboard carriers will not necessarily be sporting identifying markers like Chinese-flag lapel pins or tee-shirts proclaiming “XI LOVES YOU!”As my Bloomberg News colleague Will Wade reports, Carlo LoParo, a spokesperson for OFES, explained that state-controlled Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. has loaned money to several natural-gas-fired power projects in Ohio. Therefore, as those plants gain market share, so Beijing could gain undue influence over the state’s power system.Having rejected “compelling,” I’m struggling to find a word that adequately captures the class of logic on display there. Suffice it to say that loans made to power plants by a bank, state-owned or otherwise, do not actually grant that bank or its shareholders ownership of said plants, let alone influence over the grid they supply. Finance and power-market oversight just doesn’t work that way.LoParo runs a local public relations firm and previously worked on behalf of a group funded by FirstEnergy Solutions that promulgated the bailout legislation(1). He says the ad was “produced in a way to get your attention,” and I can only agree with him on that. When asked how exactly a bank loan would translate to undue influence over the grid, things got a little fuzzier, and he said we just don’t know the terms of the financing. Not knowing would seem like a good reason to hold off airing inflammatory insinuations — especially as loans don’t grant equity-like control — but maybe that’s just me. I also asked LoParo how OFES feels about Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s role as a lender to none other than FirstEnergy itself. An amended agreement from last October attached to the parent company’s last 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission lists the Chinese bank as part of a 23-strong syndicate providing a $2.5 billion credit line to FirstEnergy and several of its subsidiaries.Here’s the thing: That also doesn’t give ICBC any control of FirstEnergy’s operations in Ohio’s power market. But by the comically tortured logic of the OFES ad, surely having a Chinese bank provide credit to the actual owner of the grid presents a similarly sinister challenge? LoParo actually said he would “prefer” FirstEnergy not to take such funding. (A spokesperson told me the company isn’t associated with OFES and doesn’t plan on changing its lending banks.)Indeed, in response to a broader question, he said he would prefer any public or quasi-public Ohio infrastructure project not to take funding from banks controlled by foreign governments. That sounds like a great way to increase the cost of just about everything for Ohioans. One wonders if OFES plans on also going after the federal government over the small issue of who owns all those U.S. Treasuries. As an abattoir of reason, the ad at least comports with the spirit of this bailout. Consider representative William Seitz, a co-sponsor of the law, who declared years ago that when it comes to renewable energy, Ohio’s legislature wouldn’t continue its “march up state mandate mountain.” But now that the mountain happens to be made of coal and uranium, he has scrabbled up with gusto.In its vilification of sinister outside forces, the ad displays a certain despicable cunning. It recasts local energy supply as being about other, national hot-button issues promulgated by President Donald Trump, who carried the state in 2016. We have seen this already, of course, not least in Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s attempt to force through subsidies for coal and nuclear plants on national-security grounds. The Chinese link, tenuous as it is, stokes fear and attempts to connect the prior decade’s decline in manufacturing employment — not confined to Ohio by any means — to the job losses that result from unprofitable old power plants closing. This use of labor issues is an extension of Trump’s pledge to coal miners and seems likely to be weaponized more and more as our energy system changes. Faced with implacable forces of falling costs for newer technologies and rising concern about climate change, rallying support for struggling incumbents on the basis of protecting jobs can be a potent populist tactic.On this front, there is a grim irony to be found in the fact that FirstEnergy Solutions’ emergence from chapter 11 has been delayed due to a dispute with unions about honoring existing collective bargaining agreements. Just as Trump’s love for coal miners has done little to revive their sector, the Ohio state legislature’s subsidies for struggling older plants represent a losing strategy (except for the asset owners). Plus, like OFES’s seeming preference for financial autarky, such subsidies raise costs for everyone, including manufacturers. If folks are worried about interference in Ohio’s grid, they should forget Beijing and start with Columbus.With assistance from Margaret Newkirk(1) He told Wade he has had no interaction with that group on this campaign.To contact the author of this story: Liam Denning at ldenning1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Gongloff at mgongloff1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Liam Denning is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering energy, mining and commodities. He previously was editor of the Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column and wrote for the Financial Times' Lex column. He was also an investment banker.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China's banks face earnings squeeze due to rate reform, trade war uncertainty
    Reuters

    China's banks face earnings squeeze due to rate reform, trade war uncertainty

    BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's banks face pressure on earnings and asset quality in the coming months as interest rate reforms squeeze margins and a Chinese-U.S. trade war adds to economic uncertainty. Three of the nation's top listed banks this week each reported a profit rise of nearly 5% in the first half of the year, but warned they faced headwind. "The trade war causes uncertainty, and there is downward pressure on the economy," Gu Shu, president of the world's largest commercial lender, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), told a news conference on Thursday.

  • China AI Startup to File for Hong Kong IPO Soon Despite Protests
    Bloomberg

    China AI Startup to File for Hong Kong IPO Soon Despite Protests

    (Bloomberg) -- Chinese artificial intelligence startup Megvii is filing documents soon for a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise as much as $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said, proceeding despite a market downturn spurred by pro-democracy protests across the financial hub.The owner of facial-recognition platform Face++ plans to submit an IPO filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as soon as Friday, one of the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is private. Megvii declined to comment.Megvii is moving forward even as other companies pump the brakes on their Hong Kong listing ambitions, wary of months of protests that have gripped the city. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., a backer of Megvii’s, is among those that are gunning for a Hong Kong listing but have held back to gauge investors’ reception.Megvii’s offering may face particular challenges. It would be the first in a coterie of Chinese AI companies to go public, raising money that would help further China’s effort to lead the sector by 2030. Donald Trump’s administration has raised the alarm about China’s ambitions in technology, which may erode the interest of U.S. money managers in the country’s AI startups."It’s a bit political," said Mark Tanner, founder of Shanghai-based research and marketing company China Skinny. “Trump’s big concern is that China has the aspiration to be the leader in AI.”Megvii’s filing will kick off the formal process for an IPO, though it could be months before its actual debut. Megvii competes with SenseTime Group Ltd. -- also backed by Alibaba -- in facial and object recognition technology and Internet of Things software.The seven-year-old outfit now provides face-scanning systems to companies from iPhone-maker Foxconn Technology Group to Lenovo Group Ltd. and Ant Financial, the payments giant that supports Alibaba’s e-commerce business. Its facial recognition technology has provided verification services to more than 400 million people, Megvii said in a statement in January.Beyond commerce, the company is also building software for sensors and robots. And the Chinese government is a client: Megvii’s AI technology has been used by authorities in more than 260 cities and helped police arrest more than 10,000 people, it said in January. The company last raised $750 million in a Series D financing round in May from investors including China Group Investment, ICBC Asset Management (Global), Macquarie Group and a unit of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Its other backers include Boyu Capital, Ant, SK Group, Foxconn, Qiming Venture Partners and Sinovation Ventures.Megvii could have a first mover’s advantage."IPOs have been pretty disappointing in the past few months, but since AI is a hot category at the moment it could gain more traction," said Tanner.(Adds analyst comment in the fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Down the Rabbit Hole With Trump and Xi
    Bloomberg

    Down the Rabbit Hole With Trump and Xi

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- In the fable, the tortoise wins the race because the hare lies down to take a nap after bolting into the lead. Slow, dogged persistence triumphs over flighty arrogance. If this were the story of the U.S.-China trade war, it’s easy to see which would be which.Trade wars are good and easy to win, President Donald Trump famously declared on Twitter in March 2018. Since then, U.S. policy toward China has shifted repeatedly as the president bounced from one position to another, alternately offering taunts and peace overtures. Early this month, Trump ripped into China just as negotiators were about to resume trade talks in Shanghai, then overruled his Treasury secretary to announce extra tariffs in a tweet after the discussions broke down.China has been far more cautious. Even a leader as powerful President Xi Jinping must marvel at the speed with which decisions have been made in Washington. Last week, China let the yuan slide past 7 to the dollar for the first time since 2008.  Within 24 hours, the Treasury Department had formally labeled China a currency manipulator after the president lambasted the yuan’s move – on Twitter, naturally.Caution has its advantages. Decisions are more deliberate, and there’s less chance of getting caught in a trap of your own making, as Bloomberg’s editorial board pointed out last week. Case in point, the dollar strengthened after Trump used the yuan’s slide to renew his call on the Federal Reserve to cut rates. Global investors reacted by fleeing risk for the safety of the greenback.However, too much caution can also be a problem. Look at the way China has managed its domestic economic challenges, and you may be doubtful that this tortoise will ever catch the hare.The government’s approach to tremors among the country’s regional banks provides a telling example. In May, regulators carried out the first bank seizure in two decades. The People’s Bank of China took over Baoshang Bank, a lender based in Inner Mongolia, citing “serious” credit risks. The central bank said that only interbank liabilities of less than 50 million yuan ($7 million) would be fully protected, in an attempt to break perceptions of an implicit government guarantee backing all lenders.That decision sent jitters through the interbank and shadow-lending markets, even though the PBOC ended up guaranteeing practically all of Baoshang’s short-term loans.The heat was too much for Beijing, however justified its handling of the issue may have been (after all, banks should consider credit risk rather than lending to each other on blind trust). Two months later, authorities took a different approach to solve another crisis case: Bank of Jinzhou Co., a regional institution that uses short-term interbank loans to fund shadow credit products.Instead of a full bank seizure, the government turned to the national team, calling in state-owned heavyweights such as Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. and distressed-debt manager China Cinda Asset Management Co. to broker a rescue. The deal wasn’t cheap, as I’ve written. Investors didn’t take kindly to ICBC, the nation’s biggest lender, being press-ganged in this way. Shares of the “big four” banks sank to record lows after the bailout.Third time’s the charm, or maybe not. Central Huijin Investment Ltd., a unit of China’s sovereign wealth fund and the owner of major stakes in the big four, will buy into Hengfeng Bank Co., a regional lender in the northeast province of Shandong, the 21st Century Business Herald reported Friday. This approach brings the problem on to the central government’s balance sheet – quite a commitment, given that China has more than 4,000 regional banks. The industry has a potential capital shortfall of 2.4 trillion yuan, UBS Group AG’s Jason Bedford estimates.In these three cases, the Chinese bureaucracy has behaved like a timid tortoise. It sticks its head out tentatively to sniff the air and then pulls it back into its shell at the first sign of trouble. A few months later, the tortoise ventures forth once again – with a different face.What’s the moral of this modern tale? The U.S. hare is jumping around in all directions and appears not to know where the finish line is, or how to tell when it’s won. The Chinese tortoise, meanwhile, is moving so slowly that it may never get there. At least Aesop’s fable had a winner. Welcome to the never-ending trade war. To contact the author of this story: Shuli Ren at sren38@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at mbrooker1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shuli Ren is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian markets. She previously wrote on markets for Barron's, following a career as an investment banker, and is a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Leadership shuffle at Bank of Jinzhou raises questions about ICBC-led 'investment' in July, as credit drought wrecks damage on regional lenders
    South China Morning Post

    Leadership shuffle at Bank of Jinzhou raises questions about ICBC-led 'investment' in July, as credit drought wrecks damage on regional lenders

    Bank of Jinzhou has appointed Guo Wenfeng, 47, to take over the post of governor at the mid-sized regional lender, part of a personnel shake-up affecting half a dozen senior positions, according to filings and news reports since Friday.Guo will be transferred from a current position with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), according to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing. Three other senior appointments will also involve personnel currently with ICBC, according to reports.Analysts said the leadership reshuffle may show that a stake purchase last month led by ICBC was actually a bailout for the lender based in Liaoning province in northeastern China.Bank of Jinzhou grabbed attention in June, after it became the first regional commercial bank to receive credit enhancement from China's central bank.Bank of Jinzhou gets Chinese state backing as ICBC and other financial institutions buy more than 17.3 per cent stake in itEarlier this year Ernst & Young Hua Ming LLP and Ernst & Young resigned as auditors for the bank, citing concerns over loans it had made to institutional customers.The bank's Hong Kong shares have been suspended from trade since April.In late July, three state-owned financial institutions bought a combined 17.3 per cent of shares in the Bank of Jinzhou from existing shareholders.ICBC invested 3 billion yuan (US$435 million) for a 10.8 per cent stake, according to a filing on July 28. Photo: Roy Issa alt=ICBC invested 3 billion yuan (US$435 million) for a 10.8 per cent stake, according to a filing on July 28. Photo: Roy IssaICBC invested 3 billion yuan (US$435 million) for a 10.8 per cent stake, completing the deal through its unit ICBC Financial Asset Investment Co. Two distressed asset managers, China Cinda Asset Management Co and Great Wall Asset Management Co, funded the remaining 7.5 per cent stake.ICBC said it had made "a financial investment" in Bank of Jinzhou, according to its filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on July 28.The leadership reshuffle unveiled Monday, however, would indicated a deeper relationship.S&P; Global Ratings credit analyst Liang Yu said policymakers "are adopting an alternative method of managing troubled banks" following the takeover of Baoshang in May.Reports of Baoshang's rescue triggered a liquidity crunch for smaller lenders, as they were forced to cancel fundraising plans after investors pulled out.Liang said smaller banks continue to face tighter liquidity and funding conditions."The credit spreads between the regional banks and major banks widened materially after the Baoshang Bank takeover. We expect this widened spread to persist for some time," Liang said.Shares of ICBC shed 1.9 per cent to close at HK$5.1 in Hong Kong on Monday, while in Shanghai they fell 1.4 per cent to 5.5 yuan.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • Should You Be Adding Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HKG:1398) To Your Watchlist Today?
    Simply Wall St.

    Should You Be Adding Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HKG:1398) To Your Watchlist Today?

    Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story...

  • Why China Has Chickened Out of Another Bank Seizure
    Bloomberg

    Why China Has Chickened Out of Another Bank Seizure

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- When a lender suffers from a run on deposits or a funding crisis, one solution is a central-bank takeover. The People’s Bank of China, however, is finding that option has shut. Two months after the PBOC seized Baoshang Bank Co., China’s first such move in two decades, regulators have another troubled situation on their hands. On Sunday, Bank of Jinzhou Co., a small regional lender in the rust belt province of Liaoning, got a partial bailout from three state-owned asset managers. A unit of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., as well as distressed debt managers China Cinda Asset Management Co. and China Great Wall Asset Management Corp., agreed to buy at least 17% of Jinzhou’s shares.The deal certainly isn’t cheap, for a bank whose books are so muddled that it still hasn’t been able to disclose its 2018 financials. ICBC’s asset-management unit agreed to purchase a 10.8% stake for as much as 3 billion yuan ($440 million), putting the acquisition tag at 0.54 times book, using Jinzhou’s latest available balance-sheet data. At this price, ICBC and Cinda could easily buy better assets: Hong Kong banks, for instance, are valued in the same neighborhood. What’s more, Jinzhou’s book value could be even lower, with more than 40% of its assets tied up in opaque wealth-management products that may have to be written down.So why isn’t the PBOC seizing Jinzhou as well? The central bank certainly has the institutional setup for more takeovers. Since the Baoshang event, the central bank established a deposit insurance fund, similar to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., to protect savers. The central bank also has the bandwidth. Jinzhou is hardly a bigger burden than Baoshang – with $113 billion of assets as of June 2018, the lender is just 30% larger than its rescued peer. Because the PBOC never entertained quantitative easing on the scale of the Federal Reserve, its balance sheet remains pretty clean.One consideration may be the stability of the perpetual-bond market. This year, the PBOC has pushed banks to tap this funding channel to replenish their capital.(1) Banks have already issued more than $35 billion of such bonds, a record high, since Bank of China Ltd. kicked off a spate of borrowing in late January. The trouble is, these bonds are only as good as equity in a bankruptcy – in other words, worthless. Dollar-denominated perpetuals issued by small lenders such as Jinzhou, Bank of Zhengzhou Co., Huishang Bank Corp. and Bank of Qingdao Co. all tumbled after the Baoshang seizure. Derailing Beijing’s grand plan for bank recapitalization would be a big no-no. Jinzhou’s problems are also bubbling at a politically sensitive time, just ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Unlike Baoshang – a subsidiary of conglomerate Tomorrow Holding Co., whose founder Xiao Jianhua was abducted from Hong Kong’s Four Seasons Hotel in 2017 – Jinzhou’s ownership is scattered among several private businesses. China’s enterprises are already wary of President Xi Jinping’s administration: Despite Beijing mouthing support for the sector, state affiliates still tend to benefit disproportionately from the government’s largess. Wiping out private businesses’ equity stakes wouldn’t be a good look right now. The PBOC tried to do the right thing with the Baoshang takeover. But now, fearful of market jitters, the central bank is chickening out. Instead, China has resorted to the old trick of a national team rescue, which does little to break the implicit guarantee of state support. At this rate, investors in China’s $13 trillion bond market have little hope of pricing in the appropriate risks. (1) The PBOC even established a new facility, called the central bank bill swap, encouraginginsurers and asset managers to buy and hold perpetual bonds.To contact the author of this story: Shuli Ren at sren38@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shuli Ren is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Asian markets. She previously wrote on markets for Barron's, following a career as an investment banker, and is a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China's ICBC and Cinda Asset Management to take combined 17.3% in Bank of Jinzhou
    Reuters

    China's ICBC and Cinda Asset Management to take combined 17.3% in Bank of Jinzhou

    The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the country's largest lender by assets, and China Cinda Asset Management, one of China's four largest bad banks, said on Sunday they would take stakes in troubled Bank of Jinzhou. Concern has been growing about Bank of Jinzhou since the Hong Kong-listed lender suspended trading in its shares earlier this year and saw its auditor quit. ICBC's ICBC Financial Asset Investment Co unit signed an equity transfer agreement to invest up to 3 billion yuan ($436 million) in a 10.82% stake of Bank of Jinzhou, it said in a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

  • How Does Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (HKG:1398) Fare As A Dividend Stock?
    Simply Wall St.

    How Does Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (HKG:1398) Fare As A Dividend Stock?

    Today we'll take a closer look at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (HKG:1398) from a dividend...

  • Investors Who Bought Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HKG:1398) Shares Three Years Ago Are Now Up 43%
    Simply Wall St.

    Investors Who Bought Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (HKG:1398) Shares Three Years Ago Are Now Up 43%

    By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you choose individual stocks with...

  • Tencent, Alibaba, Xiaomi units win Hong Kong online banking license
    Reuters

    Tencent, Alibaba, Xiaomi units win Hong Kong online banking license

    Hong Kong's banking regulator has issued four more online-only banking licenses to units of Alibaba, PingAn and smartphone maker Xiaomi, as well as to a JV involving Tencent, ICBC and Hillhouse Capital. The introduction of online-only banking has the potential to be the biggest shake-up in years in the city's retail banking sector dominated by old-guard lenders such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and a slew of Chinese banks.

  • Reuters

    Tencent, Alibaba, Xiaomi units win Hong Kong online banking licence

    Hong Kong's banking regulator has issued four more online-only banking licences to units of Alibaba, PingAn and smartphone maker Xiaomi, as well as to a JV involving Tencent, ICBC and Hillhouse Capital. The introduction of online-only banking has the potential to be the biggest shake-up in years in the city's retail banking sector dominated by old-guard lenders such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and a slew of Chinese banks.

  • Reuters

    China Big Five banks post modest profit growth amid loan push

    BEIJING/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China's five biggest state-owned banks posted a modest growth in quarterly profit as policymakers pushed them to make more loans, but the results still missed expectations amid the lingering impact of an economic slowdown. Net profits at the country's so-called Big Five banks, led by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC), grew by more than 4 percent in the January-March quarter from a year earlier. The gain comes on the heels of disappointing 2018 fourth quarter when four of the five turned in their weakest profit growth in more than two years as business activity slowed and they sharply increased provisions for bad loans.

  • Reuters

    China's big banks post modest first-quarter profit growth

    BEIJING/SINGAPORE(Reuters) - China's five largest state-owned banks posted modest first-quarter profit growth, though slightly below expectations, as policymakers pushed lenders to make more loans to support the slowing economy. Net profits at the country's so-called Big Five banks, led by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC), grew by more than 4 percent in the January-March quarter from a year earlier. The gain comes on the heels of disappointing 2018 fourth-quarter results that saw four of the five lenders posting their weakest quarterly profit growth in more than two years as business activity slowed and they sharply increased provisions for bad loans.