ERNST and Young have been appointed by China's largest bank to audit its books amid concerns about the high rate of non-performing loans in the country. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has hired the company to audit about a fifth of its business, the first time the bank has used foreign auditors for its accounts.

The Bank has been hit by non performing loans in recent years and in 1999 Huarong Asset Management Corporation was formed in order to acquire distressed assets and loans from the bank. Ernst & Young, which is advising ...

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