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Trio of China banks ranked in global top 10: study

A evening view of Cheung Kong Centre and the Bank of China Tower at Hong Kong's business Central district
A evening view of Cheung Kong Centre and the Bank of China Tower at Hong Kong's business Central district

LONDON (Reuters) - Three Chinese banks are now in the world's top 10, underlining the dramatic growth of the country's financial industry in recent years, according to a new study released on Thursday.

Bank of America ranks as the world's top bank for the second successive year, followed by JP Morgan , Britain's HSBC and Citigroup , according to The Banker magazine's latest Top 1,000 list.

The magazine uses Tier 1 capital as a measure of a bank's ability to lend on a large scale and endure shocks.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) <601398.SS> ranks in sixth place (up from 7th last year), China Construction Bank <601939.SS> is in eighth (from 15th), Bank of China <601988.SS> ranks in ninth (from 14th) and Agricultural Bank of China <601288.SS> has risen to 14th (from 28th).

China's banks are also the most profitable, with ICBC's earnings of $32.5 billion last year eclipsing all other banks. CCB was second with profits of $26.4 billion, followed by JPMorgan with $24.9 billion.

Chinese banks' profits have soared by 95 percent over the past three years and now account for over a fifth of global banking profits, The Banker estimated.

Other major emerging economies have also advanced up the rankings. Brazil's banks, for example, have some of the highest returns on average capital at 32 percent, while India's banks have more than doubled profits since 2007, the magazine said.

The biggest losses were recorded by Irish banks for the second successive year. Anglo Irish lost $23.5 billion, and Allied Irish Banks lost $15.8 billion.

The Tier 1 capital of Bank of America, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, was $164 billion at the end of 2010, just up from a year earlier and $22 billion above JPMorgan.

Bank of America also topped The Banker's first Top 1,000 list 41 years ago, when it was based on assets rather than capital.

(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Will Waterman)

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