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Chinese bank tops world ranking, Russia’s Sberbank comes 34th

Chinese bank tops world ranking, Russia’s Sberbank comes 34th
China’s ICBC bank has been ranked as the world's largest, overtaking two American finance giants. Russian banks have the second highest growth rate according to a survey by The Banker.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has moved from third to first place in the magazine’s annual list of the top 1,000 banks. The Chinese bank saw its capital grow by 15 percent to $160.6bn. China now has 4 banks in the top 10 and 96 in the Top 1,000. Last year's winner, the Bank of America, fell back to the third while JP Morgan stayed as the second. At fourth HSBC is the only British bank in the top 10 thanks to significant earnings from its Asian operations.

"For several years now European and American banks have been stagnant and shrinking while Chinese banks have been expanding in line with the growth in the Chinese economy. On most measures they now score as well or better than Western banks but their big test will be how they cope as China's growth slows over the next few years,"  says  Brian Caplen, editor of The Banker.

Representation of Russian banks in the Top 1000 increased from 21 to 24. Russian banks are second in the world by rate of growth that averages at 32%. The capital of Russia’s biggest bank Sberbank grew by 38%. The Russian Orient Express Bank saw the second largest capital increase by 105%, business daily Vedomosti quotes the magazine’s editor in chief Philipp Aleksander. The world leader of growth is Swiss J. Safra Sarasin.

The total profits of the Top 1,000 banks are now close to pre-crisis levels overall, but their distribution is very uneven, according to The Banker.

"Before the crisis European banks accounted for 46 percent of global profits and 58 percent of total assets (2006). Now they have 43 percent of assets and a meager 1.58 percent of profits. Asian banks have moved in the other direction increasing their assets from 22 percent of the total to 35 percent and their profits from 19 percent to 56 percent," according to The Banker.

One of the best European performers is Turkey where bank profits grew by 37 percent. Out of the 10 largest loss making banks six are Spanish. Altogether banks of Spain lost $73 billion.