Bank of China (BOC), China's fourth-largest commercial bank by market value, announced on Thursday that its profits surged 13.88 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2014. The bank realized a net profit attributable to shareholders of 45.36 billion yuan (7.36 billion U.S. dollars), it said in a statement filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange. This pace of profit growth was higher than the 8.2 percent in the first quarter of last year and 12.36 percent for the whole year of 2013. "By putting the first priority on serving the real economy, the bank accelerated the transformation of its business structure and enhanced the management of assets and liabilities," the statement said. By the end of March, total assets rose 8.87 percent to 15.11 trillion yuan, while liabilities rose 9.14 percent to 14.09 trillion yuan. The non-performing loans ratio was slightly up by 0.02 percentage points from the end of last year to 0.98 percent by the end of last month, while its capital adequacy ratio stood at 12.05 percent, the bank said. BOC is listed in both Shanghai and Hong Kong. Its shares on Thursday edged down 0.38 percent in Shanghai but were up by 0.89 percent in Hong Kong.