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China's July new loans expected to show steady growth

(Xinhua)

08:25, August 09, 2012

BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- New yuan-denominated loans issued by Chinese banks are expected to maintain strong and consistent growth in July, indicating that the government is easing its monetary policy to boost the slowing economy.

New loans are estimated to reach 630 billion yuan (about 100 billion U.S. dollars) in July, marking year-on-year growth of 16.1 percent, slightly higher than the 16-percent rise seen in June, according to a report released by Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities Co., Ltd.

Media reports show that the "big four banks," Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Construction Bank of China, Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China, lent 220 billion yuan in July, up 30 billion yuan month on month.

The continuously expanding lending signals that the country has loosened its credit policy to spur investment and maintain steady growth amid a global economic downturn, said the Wealth Management Department of the Bank of East Asia.

China's central bank said on Aug. 2 that it will take "the proper amount of time" to fine-tune the country's monetary policy, as the faster-than-expected slowing economy needs more cash.

Efforts should be made to push the financial service sector to benefit the real economy and create a stable monetary and financial environment to maintain stable consumer prices and promote economic restructuring, it said.

However, loosened credit should not be interpreted as a new round of stimulus packages, as insiders said the new lending in July made up a considerable amount of the short-term bill financing.

Several commercial banks have urged their local branches to boost credit support for regional financing vehicles, with a focus on projects involved with road and railway construction, natural gas and clean energy, as well as others that could improve people's livelihood, insiders said.

The Bank of East Asia also forecast that China's banks will continue to improve credit structures in the second half. While keeping tight control on high-polluting and energy-guzzling industries, banks will increase support to infrastructure, emerging industries and consumer spending-related industries.

China's accumulated new loans in the first half of 2012 hit 4.85 trillion yuan, up by 16.39 percent compared with the same period last year, according to the central bank.

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