China's ICBC Q4 profit dips 0.6 pct, beats analyst estimates

SHANGHAI/BEIJING, March 30 (Reuters) - Industrial and

Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) , the

world's largest lender, on Thursday said its net profit fell

0.64 pct in the fourth quarter of 2016 as margins shrank, above

analyst estimates.

Profit reached 55.02 billion yuan ($7.99 billion) in the

three months ended December, from 55.4 billion yuan in the same

period a year prior.

This was above an average estimate of 51.0 billion yuan from

analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

For the whole of 2016, net profit rose to 278.25 billion

yuan from 277.1 billion yuan a year earlier.

ICBC's non-performing loan ratio stayed flat at 1.62

percent as at end-December.

($1 = 6.8890 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Engen Tham and Matthew Miller in Beijing; Editing

by Himani Sarkar)