October 29, 2018 / 11:04 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Bank of China raising $17 bln via preference shares to replenish capital

* BoC raising up to 120 bln yuan via domestic, offshore pref shares

* AgBank, ICBC have announced fundraisings of up to 100 bln yuan

* BoC posts 5.7 pct rise in Q3 net profit, below estimates (Adds preference share issue)

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Bank of China (BoC) , the country’s fourth-biggest lender by assets, plans to raise as much as 120 billion yuan ($17.25 billion) to replenish capital in the biggest preference share re-financing by a Chinese lender.

BoC, the most internationalised Chinese bank that handles about a quarter of cross-border renminbi settlements on the mainland, becomes the latest mainland bank to tap investors for cash.

Agricultural Bank of China , the country’s third-largest bank, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China , the country’s biggest, have both announced plans to raise as much as 100 billion yuan.

BoC’s fundraising will be used fully to replenish additional tier 1 capital, it said on Monday.

The bank also separately reported a 5.7 percent rise in third-quarter net profit as its bad loans ratio and interest margins stabilised.

Profit for the July to September period was 44.19 billion yuan ($6.35 billion) for BoC, compared with 41.8 billion yuan in the same period a year earlier.

The result was well below the 13.1 percent average profit growth estimate of three analysts, according to data compiled by Reuters.

Last week Bank of Communications Co and China Construction Bank Corp also posted a rise in third-quarter profit, as their bad loan ratios and interest margins stabilised.

BoC’s net interest margin, a key measure of profitability that represents the difference between interest earned on loans and that paid out to depositors, rose slightly to 1.89 percent from 1.88 percent at end-June.

Its non-performing loan ratio stayed unchanged at 1.43 percent at end-September from three months ago. ($1 = 6.9565 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Shu Zhang in BEIJING and Engen Tham in SHANGHAI; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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