Posted on Friday, October 29, 2010
Scattered throughout Wednesday’s third-quarter numbers from Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China, the first of the country’s big lenders to report, are homilies about “promoting [the bank’s] healthy development” and “managing risks and sharpening competitiveness.” This isn’t just the standard cant. The age of irresponsibility is over.
Last year’s splurge of new lending across the banking system – up 32 per cent from 2008 – was deemed necessary to safeguard the nation’s recovery. Job done, asset growth over the past nine months has been more moderate: 15 per cent for BoC and 14 per cent for AgBank. That is consistent with expectations of new loan targets for 2011, likely to be set around Rmb7,000bn, to deliver growth of 14 to 15 per cent. Further, the maximum 75 per cent loan-to-deposit ratio, relaxed during the crisis, is now more rigorously enforced by the regulator (BoC squeaks in at 74.7 per cent). Finally, capital concerns are front and centre. As BoC disclosed an above-average core capital ratio of 9.4 per cent, Citic (below average) received approval from the regulator to issue shares in Shanghai and/or Hong Kong. Last week BoC and CCB (also above average) got the green light to raise as much as Rmb135bn between them.Published: October 27 2010 09:52 | Last updated: October 27 2010 23:09