Industrial & Commercial Bank of China said Thursday that its first-half net profit jumped 57 percent from a year earlier to a record 64.5 billion yuan (US$9.4 billion), surpassing international rivals embroiled in the credit crisis.
The Beijing-based bank's first-half net profit compared with 41 billion yuan in net profit for the first half of last year.
Chinese banks, with little exposure to U.S. mortgage securities and a booming economy back home, have flourished despite the miseries afflicting banks in the United States and Europe.
ICBC's earnings, which were in line with analysts' expectations, surpassed those of Britain's HSBC Holdings PLC, which reported US$7.7 billion in net profit in the first half of the year, down from US$10.9 billion in the first six months of 2007.
The world's largest bank by market capitalization, ICBC said it saw growth in all business areas, with a 29 percent surge in interest income to 131.8 billion yuan (US$19.2 billion) and a 51 percent jump in noninterest income, to 23.2 billion yuan.
That faster growth in fees and commission income reflected structural improvements that were a "key catalyst for continued rapid growth of the bank's profit," ICBC said in a statement.
ICBC's holdings of U.S. subprime mortgage securities were valued at US$1.2 billion, or only 0.09 percent of its total assets, while its holdings of U.S. mortgage securities and bonds related to the U.S. mortgage financiers Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae totaled about US$4.95 billion, it said.
The bank vowed to improve services and products to meet the challenges posed by the mortgage crisis, inflation and a slowing global economy, to "become a leading international financial institution."
ICBC is a behemoth even by China's standards, with assets as of June 30 worth 9.4 trillion yuan (US$1.4 trillion) and market capitalization at about 430 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$63.4 billion).
The bank's shares fell 2.1 percent Thursday to HK$5.12.