China's biggest banks post profit growth amid pandemic, but margins shrink
China's biggest banks post profit growth amid pandemic, but margins shrink. (Reuters) - China's biggest listed banks posted higher profits in the first quarter despite the wider impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, though margins shrank. The world's largest commercial lender Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) (601398.SS) (1398.HK) on Tuesday reported a 3.04% rise in first quarter net profit compared to a year earlier, while Bank of Communications Co Ltd (BoCom) (601328.SS) (3328.HK) reported a 1.8% rise. China's largest banks are historically more resilient than their smaller kin, as they lend more to state-backed enterprises and have larger capital reserves. However, despite this firmer base, net interest margins shrank at four of the five lenders, as loan prime rate reform and looser monetary policy weighed, said analysts.