China Merchants Bank is the sixth largest commercial bank with assets in China and is currently among the top 100 banks in the world.
In the 22 years since our inception we at China Merchants Bank have grown from a small bank with one office and capital totaling USD 14.5 million to a national bank with net capital of USD 12.33 billion and more than 600 offices in 40 major cities across China. As of September 30th, 2008, our total assets have reached USD 214 billion.
In the 21st century, we have made major inroads in developing different lines of financial services, and are achieving significant results.
We are recognized by both domestic and international media as well as the general public as China's Best Retail Bank and Best Bank overall. This remarkable journey began in China's legendary coastal city of Shenzhen in 1987. China Merchants Bank was the first shareholding commercial bank in China whose shareholders were all corporate entities and as a result of China's financial reform, it was pushed forward by the government.
In 2002, after years of hard work and development, we were listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and in 2006 were listed in Hong Kong. In 2007 China Merchants Bank earned permission to enter the American market; achieving the honor of becoming the first Chinese bank to obtain a banking license in the U.S. since the implementation of The Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act of 1991. Also in 2008, China Merchants Bank successfully acquired Wing Lung Bank, Hong Kong's fourth largest local bank with a proud 75 year history. Valued at USD 4.6 billion, it became the largest controlling-stake acquisition in Mainland China history.
We attribute our success to outstanding teamwork, management and excellence in customer service. The leadership of Chairman Qin Xiao and President Ma Weihua has been pivotal to the bank's success. With extensive market experience and an innovative spirit, they have instilled a culture of "Service First", laying a solid foundation for our sustainable development. At China Merchants Bank we strive to be ranked first among our peers. We were the first to cover the full range of banking services, from general retail services to high-end one-to-one service.
Our high-end customer service is extremely popular among wealthier customers, the number of which is growing rapidly in China. China Merchants Bank is the leader in providing services to this customer segment and has more than 373,000 customers with total assets of more than USD 73,000 in our bank by the end of September of 2008.
Our pioneering spirit and passion for innovation has led China Merchants Bank to break new ground and develop innovative financial products and services. By the end of September 2008, we had issued more than 48 million debit cards with an average rate of deposit per card ranking highest among China's banks. By the end of the same period, we had issued 25 million credit cards, a leader in China's potentially huge credit card market. We were adopted as one of Harvard Business Review's case studies.
The innovative and pioneering nature of our bank has led us to explore different sectors of open markets and to take important steps toward the goal of internationalization. Currently we maintain correspondent relationships with more than 1200 banks in over 90 countries and regions.
In its 22 year history, China Merchants Bank has been continuing to explore and carve out a sustainable business model in accordance with its needs. We were the first commercial bank in China to create a business model that is less capital-intensive, lower risk and higher output, demonstrating great growing potential. From 2005 to 2007, China Merchants Bank experienced outstanding net income growth with an annualized compound growth rate reaching 102%.
In the first three quarters of 2008 our net income reached USD 2.8 billion. And at the end of September of 2008, our non-performing loan ratio was 1.2%, and provision coverage ratio was 221%.
China Merchants Bank demonstrates the social responsibility of a successful enterprise through various charitable programs. Since the year 2000, the bank's charitable donations have amounted to USD 14.6 million.
As an integrated team we are eager to innovate and are committed to providing you with quality services.
China Merchants Bank regards our clients as our main priority. We are a bank tailored to your needs and are committed to developing and growing in tandem with our clients.
We will continue to break new ground and innovate to exceed your expectations.