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Corporate loans set to be expanded this year: experts

By Song Shengxia (Global Times)

09:33, January 10, 2012

Medium- and long-term corporate loans will be greatly expanded in 2012 and more credit will be made available for the real economy in order to boost economic growth, economists predicted Monday.

"For 2012, due to moderately loosened monetary policies and a looser lending environment, new loans are expected to expand from the year before to reach between 8 trillion yuan ($1.27 trillion) and 8.5 trillion yuan," the Bank of Communications said in a report e-mailed to the Global Times Monday.

"There is vigorous demand for credit in January and banks are inclined to increase lending in the month. New loans are expected to exceed 1 trillion yuan in January, up from the previous year," E Yongjian, an economist with the bank, told the Global Times Monday.

"The market consensus is that the central bank will continue fine-tuning its policies to be more pro-growth. In 2012, we expect that new loans will be close to 8.0 trillion yuan, versus 7.47 trillion yuan in 2011," Lu Ting, an economist with Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, predicted Monday.

Those predictions came after the central bank released Sunday the nation's financial statistics data for 2011.

China's banks issued 640.5 billion yuan in new loans in December, up from 562.2 billion yuan in November and well exceeding market expectations of around 580 billion yuan, the data showed.

This brought the new loans for 2011 to 7.47 trillion yuan, 390.1 billion yuan less than the previous year.

A breakdown of new loans showed that short-term corporate new loans rose to 356.6 billion yuan in December from 284.7 billion yuan in November.

The medium-to-long-term corporate new loans declined to 71.7 billion yuan in December from 81 billion yuan in November.

"This suggests that lending to the real economy was dominated by short-term capital in December," E said. "But the medium-to-long-term corporate new loans will increase this year because more fixed investment projects will be launched, bringing more credit funds to the real economy."

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