The bank beat expectations by analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, who on average had forecast earnings of 17.8 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion; euro1.7 billion).
The bank said first-half revenues jumped 29 percent to 100.1 billion yuan (US$12.5 billion; euro9.8 billion). First-half earnings last year were 15.2 billion yuan (US$1.9 billion; euro1.5 billion) on revenues of 77.6 billion yuan (US$9.7 billion; euro7.6 billion).
The bank said its total assets stood at 5.2 trillion yuan (US$650 billion; euro510 billion), up 10.4 percent over the end of 2005.
China’s banks have seen revenues soar amid double-digit growth in lending.
They are racing to modernize their operations as Beijing prepares to meet a Dec. 11 deadline for opening their market to foreign competitors under World Trade Organization commitments.
Chinese elite state-owned banks have raised billions of dollars with share offerings abroad to replenish their capital after massive write-offs of unpaid loans to state companies.
Bank of China raised US$11.2 billion in May with an initial public offering in Hong Kong and another US$2.5 billion in July with a sale of shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.