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BEIJING, March 28 (Reuters) - Agricultural Bank of China Ltd (AgBank), the country's third-largest lender by assets, reported 8.7 percent profit growth on Tuesday for the fourth quarter as margins shrank.
October-December profit was 29.77 billion yuan ($4.33 billion) versus 27.4 billion yuan a year earlier, and above an average estimate of 21.5 billion yuan from 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
For 2016, net profit rose to 183.94 billion yuan from 180.6 billion yuan a year earlier.
AgBank's non-performing loan ratio was 2.37 percent at end-December, from 2.39 percent at end-September.
$1 = 6.8800 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting By Engen Tham in Shanghai and Matthew Miller in Beijing; Editing by Ian Geoghegan