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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

China Construction Bank profit up 10.4 per cent despite slowing economy, industry changes

BEIJING, China - China Construction Bank Ltd., one of the country's four main state-owned lenders, says its latest quarterly profit rose 10.4 per cent despite a slowing economy and changes in the industry.

Construction Bank said Monday that it earned 65.8 billion yuan ($10.9 billion), or 0.26 yuan (4 U.S. cents) per share, in the three months ending March 31. Net interest income rose 11.8 per cent to 103.2 billion yuan ($17.2 billion) and fee income rose 11. 2 per cent to 32.9 billion yuan ($5.4 billion).

The improvement came despite a steady decline in China's economic growth, which fell to 7.4 per cent in the first three months of the year.

Banks are in the midst of changes that will squeeze profit margins, including an end to controls on interest rates charged on loans.

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