China's largest bank ICBC reports flat 2016 profit as margins dip

* Q4 profit falls 0.6 pct on year, beats estimates

* NIM falls to 2.16 pct in Q4 from 2.18 pct in Q3

* NPL ratio 1.62 pct at end-Dec, flat vs end-Sept

(Recasts and adds background, details from earnings results)

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

Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) , the

world's largest lender, reported its slowest rate of yearly

growth in over a decade as successive interest rate cuts

continued to weigh on margins.

The results came a day after three other of China's leading

banks reported modest profit growth as they battle the lowest

net interest margins since at least 2011 amid a slowing economy.

ICBC on Thursday reported a 0.4 percent increase in 2016 net

profit, raking in 278.25 billion yuan ($40.39 billion).

Meanwhile net interest margins - the difference between

interest paid and earned and a key gauge of profitability for

banks - fell to 2.16 percent at end-December compared to 2.18

percent at end-September after Beijing's six successive

benchmark interest rate cuts in 2014 to 2015.

The lender said its net profit fell 0.64 percent to 55.02

billion yuan in the fourth quarter of 2016 as margins shrank.

The result was above an average estimate of 51.0 billion yuan

from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Write-offs jumped around 23 percent last year hitting 74.14

billion yuan, helping to stem the flow of non-performing loans.

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

percent as at end-December.

($1 = 6.8897 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Engen Tham in SHANGHAI and Matthew Miller in

BEIJING; Editing by Himani Sarkar)