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BOC (HK) earnings jump 50pc

Updated at 5.16pm: The Hong Kong-listed investment banking arm of the Bank of China, BOC Hong Kong (Holdings), on Wednesday reported net profit of $11.96 billion for the year to December, a 50.2 per cent rise from the $7.96 billion earned in 2003.

BOC (HK) reported interest income of $15.68 billion for last year, a decline from the $17.76 billion recorded in 2003.

The company's earnings per share for last year were $1.13, from 75 cents previously. It has also announced a final dividend of 39.5 cents a share, up from 32 cents.

The Bank of China is one of the big four mainland banks preparing for a public listing amid reforms of the country's scandal-prone banking system.