Chinese lender beats profit hopes

China Construction Bank, the world's No 2 in terms of market value and China's biggest mortgage lender, saw a 31 per cent rise in earnings in the first half of the year. The bank, which is around 10 per cent-owned by Bank of America, made net profits of 92.8bn yuan (£8.8bn) in the six months to June, against expectations of 92.3 yuan, and well above the 70.7bn yuan in net profits seen in the same period last year.