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PetroChina's ROE is significantly lower than that of its global peers, as its assets have swelled faster than its profits.   © Reuters

Asian corporate profit at record high, but what about low ROE?

A 'mad rush of capacity creation' haunts highly leveraged companies

KENJI KAWASE, Nikkei Asian Review business and market news editor | China

TOKYO -- The robust double-digit growth of corporate Asia's bottom line is undoubtedly good news, but investors may want to take it with a pinch of salt.

Even though the aggregate net profit of Asia300 companies reached a record high level in 2017, other essential metrics suggest companies have grown less efficient in recent years, as debt levels have risen while total assets soared.

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