New lending by Chongqing bank stable

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 March, 2011, 12:00am

Chongqing Rural Commercial Bank, a big mainland lender to farmers and small businesses, said it expected to lend about another 20 billion yuan (HK$23.7 billion) in 2011, about in line with last year.

In 2010, CRCB's gross loans grew about 20 per cent year on year, taking total loans to 122 billion yuan.

Its total deposits grew 33.7 per cent to 206 billion yuan from 154 billion yuan a year earlier.

Chairman Liu Jianzhong said he believed slower loan growth would not greatly affect profitability: 'Our investment return rate increased to 4.19 per cent at the end of 2010 from 4.12 per cent last June,' Liu said.

He said the lender had offered 6.8 billion yuan in loans so far this year.

A China Banking Regulatory Commission spokesman said this month that growth in new bank loans on the mainland in 2011 was expected to be about 15 per cent.

In 2010, CRCB's net interest income was 7.5 billion yuan, up 37 per cent from the previous year.

It said non-performing loans totalled 2.9 billion yuan in 2010, down from nearly 4 billion yuan in 2009. Its non-performing-loan ratio in 2010 was 2.38 per cent, down 1.5 percentage points from the previous year, and Liu said the bank aimed to cut the ratio to 1.5 per cent in 2011.

The mainland's banking regulator also said last month that it would guide financial institutions on expanding their networks in rural areas and increasing loans to the agricultural sector.

CRCB has 31 county branches. Liu said the lender would expand in counties, which was both a long-term strategic focus, and the bank's main source of revenue.

CRCB would also 'gradually expand' into neighbouring provinces, Liu said. Last year it opened three branches, in Sichuan, Yunnan, and Jiangsu provinces.

Net profit increased more than 60 per cent to 3.06 billion yuan. Its net interest margin increased slightly, by 1 basis point, from the previous year to 3.07 per cent in 2010.

Its capital adequacy ratio rose to 16.31 per cent, up 6.08 percentage points on 2009.

Shares of CRCB closed down nearly 3 per cent at HK$6.08 yesterday, outpacing the benchmark Hang Seng Index, which fell 0.4 per cent.