Rural credit cooperatives generated 44 billion yuan (about US$6.18 billion) in profit in 2007, said a report released by the central bank in Beijing on Thursday.
The cooperatives have made profits for three straight years since the sector underwent a reform in 2003, said the People's Bank of China report. It didn't provide annual growth rates or pre-2007 profit figures.
The report also provided several comparisons for a five-year period.
The cooperatives' non-performing loan ratio dropped to 9.3 percent in 2007, down 28 percentage points from the end of 2002, said the report.
The capital adequacy ratio rose to 13 percent from minus 8.45 percent as of the end of 2002.
In terms of loans, 1.43 trillion yuan was extended for agricultural development, accounting for 46 percent of the total -- six percentage points higher than in 2002.
In July 2003, the State Council, the country's highest governing body, designated eight provinces and municipalities as pilots for the rural credit cooperatives reform. The experiment spread to all parts of the country by the end of 2006.
(Xinhua News March 7, 2008)