ICBC, Bank of China post higher profits

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

HONG KONG (AP) — Two of China's four state-owned banks have posted higher half-year profits even though the world's No. 2 economy has slowed and authorities have been trying to cool a credit boom.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the country's biggest state-owned lender, said that January-June profit rose 12.4 percent to 138.5 billion yuan ($22.6 billion).

Bank of China said its profit grew nearly 13 percent to 80.7 billion yuan ($13 billion).

Both banks said earning from loans and fees rose during the first six months of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.

Analysts worry that as China's economy undergoes a painful slowdown it could reduce loan demand and trigger defaults.