China Merchants Bank, the country\'s sixth largest commercial bank, said on Friday that its profits increased 37.91 percent year-on-year to 28.388 billion yuan (4.47 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters of this year. The company\'s operating income stood at 70.29 billion yuan by the end of the third quarter, the bank said in a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. In the third quarter, earnings per share rose 32.35 percent to 0.45 yuan from a year earlier. In the Jan.-Sept. period, earnings per share stood at 1.32 yuan. The bank attributed the profit growth to an increase in interest income, which rose 36.1 percent year-on-year to 55.624 billion yuan in the nine-month period. By the end of September, the value of the bank\'s total assets increased 9.61 percent to 2.63 trillion yuan from the beginning of this year, it said. In the same period, the lender\'s non-performing loan ratio dropped 0.09 percentage point to 0.59 percent, the statement said. By the end of September, the bank\'s capital adequacy ratio stood at 11.39 percent, down 0.08 percentage point from nine months ago. Meanwhile, core capital adequacy ratio rose 0.06 percentage points to 8.1 percent. Shares of the lender climbed 1.65 percent to close at 12.34 yuan on Friday.