April 27, 2017 / 2:59 PM / in 7 months

UPDATE 1-China Construction Bank Q1 net profit rises 3 pct

(Adds details about bad loans, interest income)

BEIJING, April 27 (Reuters) - China Construction Bank Corp (CCB) , the country’s second-biggest lender by assets, on Thursday reported 3 percent profit growth for the first quarter.

CCB, the first of China’s big four state-owned lenders to report first-quarter earnings, saw its profit reached 70 billion yuan ($10.15 billion) in the three months through March, up from 67.95 billion yuan a year earlier.

The result was in line with the average estimate of 70.4 billion yuan from analysts polled by Reuters.

CCB’s non-performing loan (NPL) ratio was 1.52 percent at the end of March, flat with the end of 2016.

The volume of NPLs increased by 5.8 billion yuan over the three-month period to 184.5 billion yuan by the end of March.

The bank’s net interest margin (NIM) - the difference between interest paid and earned - was 2.13 percent at the end of March, down from 2.20 percent at the end of December, resulting in a 0.89 percent year-on-year decline in first-quarter net interest income.

CCB expects its 2017 NIM to narrow only slightly over the course of the year - within 10 basis points compared with the end of the fourth quarter of last year, the bank’s chief financial officer said last month. ($1 = 6.8940 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Shu Zhang and Matthew Miller; Editing by Randy Fabi and Mark Potter)

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