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UPDATE 1-China's AgBank Q4 profit rises 8.7 pct, beats estimates
March 28, 2017 / 2:31 PM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-China's AgBank Q4 profit rises 8.7 pct, beats estimates

* AgBank Q4 profit rises 8.7 pct on year

* NIM falls to 2.25 pct in Q4 from 2.31 pct in Q2

* NPL ratio fell to 2.37 pct end-Dec from 2.39 pct end-Sept (Adds detail)

SHANGHAI/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, boosted by higher fee and commission income.

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.

Fee and commission income jumped 10 percent in 2016 to 90.9 billion yuan.

AgBank’s non-performing loan ratio (NPL) eased to 2.37 percent at end-December, from 2.39 percent at end-September.

But net interest margin was 2.25 percent at end-December versus 2.31 percent at end-June, the eighth straight quarter in which margins have been squeezed.

Full-year net profit rose 1.9 percent to 183.94 billion yuan from 180.6 billion yuan in 2015.

The bank has recently come under pressure for compliance failings after U.S. regulators fined it $215 million for violating a state’s anti-money laundering law.

$1 = 6.8800 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting By Engen Tham in Shanghai and Matthew Miller in Beijing; Editing by Ian Geoghegan

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