Bank of China, one of the country\'s big four lenders, said Wednesday its net profit in the first nine months ending September rose 13.2 percent from a year earlier to reach 120.2 billion yuan (19.6 billion U.S. dollars). Earnings per share stood at 0.43 yuan, up 13.2 percent from a year ago, the Beijing-based lender said in a filing to the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. Bank of China said its net interest income amounted to 208.2 billion yuan in the first nine months, representing an increase of 18.8 billion yuan or 9.9 percent from a year ago. Impairment losses on assets amounted to 18.7 billion yuan, a jump of 5 billion yuan or 36.89 percent compared with the same period in 2012, the lender said in the statement. In particular, impairment losses on loans and advances amounted to 18.2 billion yuan, representing a year-on-year increase of 4.6 billion or 33.4 percent. The credit cost was 0.34 percent, an increase of 0.07 percentage points from a year earlier. Bank of China reported non-performing loans totalling 72.1 billion yuan, and the ratio of non-performing loans to total loans was 0.96 percent. The ratio of allowance for loan impairment losses to non-performing loans was 232.9 percent, it said. Bank of China said its core capital adequacy ratio, calculated on the basis of Chinese regulations, stood at 10.44 percent on Sept. 30 this year, while capital adequacy ratio was 13.29 percent. Shares of Bank of China rose 0.36 percent to close at 2.82 yuan per share in the Shanghai A-share market. In Hong Kong, Bank of China gained 2.26 percent to close at 3.62 HK dollars (59 U.S. cents) each share.