* China’s big banks post Q3 profit drops
* NPL ratios rise (Adds details of other banks)
BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Five of China’s largest state-owned lenders including the world’s largest bank Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) reported lower third-quarter profits on Friday as bad loans rose.
While the country brought in a slew of policies to combat the impact of COVID-19 shutdowns on the economy, many borrowers face difficulties in repaying loans after months of inactivity.
Senior bankers have warned that soured debts would continue to emerge later this year and into next, though lenders have recovered slightly from the record profit dives of the second quarter.
ICBC, the world’s largest bank by assets, posted a 4.7% fall in third-quarter profit.
Following suit were Bank of Communications Co (BoCom), Bank of China Ltd (BoC) and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd (AgBank) , all of which reported lower earnings.
China Construction Bank Corp (CCB) had also posted a fall over the same period on Thursday.
Beijing has been asking lenders to feed funds into the real economy and has been putting pressure on them to sacrifice profits.
ICBC, CCB, BoC and AgBank all posted rising non-performing loan ratios, while BoCom said its soured debt ratio held steady.
During the height of the pandemic earlier this year, China had asked banks to delay pushing borrowers for repayments in an effort to ease cash flow woes.
Net interest margins, a key measure of profitability, varied across the board.
At BoCom, the margin rose but at the other lenders it either fell or held steady. AgBank didn’t report the indicator for the last quarter.
$1 = 6.6866 Chinese yuan Reporting by Cheng Leng and Zhang Yan in Beijing, Engen Tham in Shanghai Editing by Edwina Gibbs and David Holmes