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858 new rural financial institutions in China

(Xinhua)

08:14, October 22, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- China had 858 new rural financial institutions, including rural banks, credit companies and capital cooperatives, by the end of September, the country's banking regulator said here Sunday.

Among them, 799 are rural banks, with 60 percent, or 481, located in central and west China, said the CBRC.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said it has been taking active and steady steps to promote the establishment of rural banks, and it has approved plans submitted by 18 banking institutions to establish 187 rural banks in the first nine months of this year, 75 percent of which would be set up in central and western regions.

By the end of June, total assets of all operating rural banks stood at 319 billion yuan, with the capital adequacy ratio at 28.6 percent and outstanding loans totalling 178.2 billion yuan.

Private investment has been a major capital source for rural banks, according to the CBRC. By the end of June, of the 47.7 billion-yuan (7.57 billion U.S. dollars) total share capital of all rural banks, 74 percent was held by private investors.

In May, the CBRC introduced several guidelines to encourage the participation of private capital in the banking sector, including lowering the minimum shareholdings of the main initiator for rural banks from 20 percent to 15 percent.

The CBRC also allows the main initiator to adjust shareholding ratios with other holders once banks enter onto a sustainable development track.

As of the end of June, private capital's shareholdings in rural banks increased by 8.2 billion yuan compared with the end of last year, according to the CBRC.

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