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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 08:37, June 01, 2006
PBOC to curb loan growth
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China's central bank yesterday warned of excessive investment and loans growth in the country, pledging to take active measures to curb the trend.

China's financial institutions granted 1.26 trillion yuan (US$157.5 billion) of loans in the first quarter, up 519.3 billion yuan (US$64.9 billion) from the same period last year, according to the quarterly monetary policy report issued by the People's Bank of China yesterday

The country's outstanding loans stood at 21.9 trillion yuan (US$2.7 trillion) at the end of March, a 14 per cent growth year-on-year.

The central bank attributed the growth to a surge of fixed asset investments with a flood of new construction projects nationwide in the first quarter and more willingness on the part of the commercial banks to lend as their capital adequacy was enriched.

Much of the lending was granted to infrastructure construction projects, particularly real estate, transportation, energy, manufacturing and public utilities, the report said. Meanwhile, personal loans growth slowed in the first three months of the year.

The central bank pledged to enhance policy guidance to financial institutions and urged them to be rational and balanced in lending and to upgrade their loan structure.

It will be "more active in monetary monitoring" to prevent excessive growth in lending in the future and will adjust the total loan supply as appropriate, the report said.

China's M2, the broad measurement of money supply, stood at 31 trillion yuan (US$3.9 trillion) by the end of March, an 18.8 per cent increase year-on-year, according to central bank statistics. The growth rate was 4.7 percentage points higher than a year ago.

The central bank report attributed the growth to the rapid increase of fixed deposits of both individuals and corporations.

Real estate continued to be in the spotlight as house prices in some big cities witnessed abnormal growth in the first quarter, making monetary authorities cautious.

When more new real estate projects began in the first quarter, the growth of commercial housing sales slowed down during the period and the number of vacant houses continued to rise, the central bank report said.

Real estate developers began construction on a total 170 million square metres of commercial-use buildings and houses in the first quarter in China, up 22.1 per cent year-on-year. But the sales of such houses only rose by 10.2 per cent during the period, down 10.1 percentage points from the same period last year.

The central bank said it would continue to liberalize the interest rate scheme and deepen reform of rural financial institutions.

Source: China Daily

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