China Construction Bank (CCB) has said non-performing loans are decreasing and account for less than 20 per cent of its total loans. President and chief executive Wang Qishan said efforts to improve the quality of its lending and profitability were starting to pay off. 'Most of our loans are to infrastructure projects, which carry a longer repayment period than general commercial loans,' he said. CCB is one of the four principal commercial banks in the mainland alongside the Industrial and Commercial Bank, Agricultural Bank and Bank of China. The central government is to provide commercial banks with 30 billion yuan (about HK$27.87 billion) in interest subsidies next year as part of its reform of key state-owned enterprises. Mr Wang said about six to seven billion yuan would be allocated to CCB. CCB started to rationalise its operations in the mainland. He said a large number of branches, offices or deposit-taking offices had been merged in the past three years. 'We will continue to rationalise our operations,' he said. CCB merged Xinjiang and Urumqi branches this year. He claimed the restructuring would have no negative impact on the bank's profitability, which hit 2.8 billion yuan before tax in the first half of this year. Responding to market rumour that he might replace Dai Xianglong as governor of China's central bank, Mr Wang said: 'My whole heart is on Construction Bank.'