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China's Big Banks' Profits Set to Surge

  • Combined net income at top 5 to rise 3% in 2017; 8% in 2018
  • “China’s banks have shaken off the doldrums,” analyst says
The Industrial & Commercial Bank Of China Ltd. (ICBC) building in Hong Kong, China.

The Industrial & Commercial Bank Of China Ltd. (ICBC) building in Hong Kong, China.

Photographer: Justin Chin/Bloomberg

Profits at China’s top banks are set to surge after two dismal years, boosted by a strengthening economy and disproportionate benefits from the government’s campaign to cut debt.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. and its four biggest peers will report next week a combined net income of 952 billion yuan ($150 billion) for 2017, an increase of 2.9 percent on year and the fastest expansion since 2014, according to consensus analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That’s forecast to pick up to 8.1 percent in 2018 as rising global interest rates boost margins.