Bank of China reported on Thursday a 13.4% climb in first-quarter profit, kicking off the earnings season for big Chinese state-owned banks. However, investors might also want to pay attention to a lingering problem — new non-performing loans in the first quarter reached 7.05 billion yuan (about $1.13 billion), accouting for about 90% of all the new bad loans recorded last year. The non-performing-loan ratio has now risen 0.02 of a percentage point to 0.98% in first quarter.
Shares of BOC are down 0.6%, along with its peers. Among the other so-called “Big Five” state banks, ICBC is down 1%, Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) is off 0.9%, China Consutruction Bank is down 0.7%, and Bank of Communications is lower by 0.4%. ABC and China Consutruction Bank are scheduled to release their results later today.
Still, China Citic Bank Corp. and China Merchants Bank are suffering even more, declining 1.7% and 1.2%, respectively.
Meanwhile, wireless carrier China Mobile is still struggling after its net profit disappointed markets Wednesday. Shares are currently lower by 0.9%, marking the ninth straight day of losses.
Over on the Chinese mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index has lost its opening gains, trading flat.