ICBC profits up 31%

3 April 2007

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has announced a 31 per cent rise in profit for 2006, as the local economy continues to boom.

Net income for what is estimated to be the second-largest bank by market value in the world stood at $6.4 billion, up from $4.9 billion in 2005.

Commenting on the results, Jim Antos of Bear Sterns told Bloomberg: "In China, the state of the economy is probably the most important determinant of banks' bottom line results. As a result, especially for a large bank like ICBC, profitability should also continue to be quite strong.''

The bank's improved performance follows a hugely successful share sale last year, which garnered investment from major US investment banks and raised $22 billion and has seen ICBC share prices rise by 80 per cent ever since.

Last week, rulings from Chinese banking authorities allowed overseas banks to incorporate locally, allowing HSBC, Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Bank of East Asia to offer a range of new services.

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