Beijing: Ten Chinese commercial banks reported higher-than-expected net profits of 244.7 billion Yuan (USD 72.11 billion) for the first half of 2011 amid fiscal tightening measures by the Government.

The ten banks include China Construction Bank, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, China Minsheng Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, China Everbright Bank, Huaxia Bank, Shenzhen Development Bank, China Merchants Bank and Industrial Bank.

According to the ten banks' half-year reports released on Tuesday, most saw year-on-year rises of over 30 percent in their first-half net profits, a news agency reported on Thursday.

The increases were boosted by strong growth in the banks' net interest incomes and intermediary businesses, the report cited analysts as saying.

"The banking sector's net interest incomes rose on the back of interest hikes and banks' enhanced pricing ability for loans," it said.

To contain liquidity, the Government has adopted a prudent monetary policy and maintained tight credit supply this year.

The central bank hiked the benchmark interest rates three times in 2011.
"Due to credit tightening, the banking sector's intermediary businesses also grew fast," an analyst with a state-owned bank said in the report.

Net profits from commissions in most banks rose more than 40 percent year-on-year during the period, according to bank reports.

Meanwhile, lending by banks to local governments also fell during the period as the country's regulatory authorities required commercial banks to strictly control loans to local Governments' financing platforms, the report said.

The net profits of China Minsheng Bank and Shenzhen Development Bank raised the most, with year-on-year rises of 56.98 percent and 56 percent, respectively, during the period.

On the Shanghai bourse, the banking sector jumped 4.64 percent in Thursday trade, with Huaxia Bank rising 7.39 percent to 11.34 Yuan and Minsheng Bank up 4.55 percent to 5.98 Yuan.

(Agencies)