China Merchants Bank said on Saturday that its net profit climbed 12.39 percent from one year earlier to 26.27 billion yuan (4.24 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half of the year. The growth was sharply lower than that posted in the same period of last year as the country\'s financial institutions felt the pinch of a slowing economy. The bank attributed the increase in profit to net interest income gains and higher commission fees, which grew 8.71 percent and 45.54 percent year on year, respectively. The value of the bank\'s total assets amounted to 3.81 trillion yuan as of the end of June, up 11.81 percent from one year earlier. Its non-performing loans ratio went up 0.1 percentage point from the beginning of the year to hit 0.71 percent at the end of June. The bank\'s share price inched down 0.45 percent Friday to end at 10.99 yuan at the Shanghai bourse.