April 29, 2020 / 11:29 AM / a month ago

Bank of China posts 3.2% rise in first-quarter profit amid coronavirus outbreak

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Bank of China Ltd (BOC) (601988.SS) (3988.HK), the country’s fourth-largest bank by assets, posted on Wednesday a 3.17% rise in first-quarter net profit amid the coronavirus outbreak.

BOC, which has the largest global network of branches among Chinese lenders, said net profit for the first three months of 2020 grew to 52.583 billion yuan ($7.43 billion) from 50.97 billion yuan a year earlier.

BOC’s non-performing loan (NPL) ratio rose to 1.39% at end-March from 1.37% three months earlier. The sector-wide NPL ratio was 2.04% in Q1, according to the banking and insurance regulator, the highest since the global financial crisis.

Its net interest margin (NIM), a key gauge that measures bank profitability, narrowed to 1.8% as of end-March from 1.84% at the end of December.

Reporting by Cheng Leng, Zhang Yan in Beijing, Engen Tham in Shanghai; Editing by Catherine Evans

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