A logo of Ping An Bank. [Photo/Sipa]

Ping An Bank said on Tuesday its anti-risk capability will continue to be enhanced this year after it showed improved indicators in asset quality in 2020 despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The non-performing loan ratio of the Shenzhen-listed lender stood at 1.18 percent as of the end of 2020, down by 0.47 percentage points from a year earlier, according to its 2020 annual report.

“Against the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak, we further increased bad loan provisions and ramped up efforts on writing off bad loans in 2020 to fend off potential risks. As a result, the bank’s asset quality has improved and its anti-risk capability has been kept at a good level,” Guo Shibang, vice-president of Ping An Bank, said at its annual results announcement in Shenzhen on Tuesday.

“We expect the indicators to continue to improve this year,” Guo said.

The provision coverage ratio of Ping An Bank, the ratio of provisioning to gross non-performing assets that indicates the extent of funds a bank has kept aside to cover loan losses, stood at 201.4 percent as of the end of 2020, up 18 percentage points year-on-year.

As asset quality of Ping An Bank improves, its credit costs will gradually reduce. That will provide a strong support for the bank to achieve a recovery in terms of the growth rate of its net profit, according to a report by Essence Securities.

Ping An Bank generated 28.93 billion yuan ($4.5 billion) in net profit in 2020, rising 2.6 percent on a yearly basis. Its operating revenue grew 11.3 percent year-on-year to 153.54 billion yuan.

The lender said it also had strengthened efforts to help micro and small-sized businesses weather the economic storm brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

The bank granted a total of 286.63 billion yuan in loans to micro and small enterprises whose total credit lines are up to 10 million yuan per borrower in 2020, up 20 percent year-on-year.