ICBC faces up to challenges of capital and identity
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ICBC faces up to challenges of capital and identity

The bank had a good year, keeping profits high and bad loans low. But the big challenges of the 2020s start now.

You don’t get bigger or more stable than Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The Beijing-based outfit, overseen by chairman Chen Siqing, is the world’s largest commercial lender by assets.

Net profits rose 9.87% year on year in the first half of 2021, to Rmb163.5 billion ($25.6 billion), and by 10.6% on an annualised basis in the three months to the end of September.

Trading income, a key driver of growth all year, jumped 261% year-on-year in the third quarter, to Rmb10.1 billion, with operating income up 9.9% over the same period, to Rmb217.5 billion.

Across the board, ICBC’s numbers reflect the bank’s position at the heart of an economy tipped by the IMF to expand by 8% in 2021, but then to see growth slip into the 5% to 6% range.

Chen Siqing

Its non-performing loan ratio was 1.52% at the end of September 2021, down from 1.58% at the end of last year. Returns on equity and assets were 11.9%

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