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Big 4 lenders extend US$40b in loans

By Hu Xiaocen   (Shanghai Daily)

09:00, February 22, 2013

CHINA'S big-four banks reportedly lent 250 billion yuan (US$40 billion) in the first half of February, which included the Spring Festival holiday, amid surging credit demand.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, the Agricultural Bank of China, and the Bank of China granted 190 billion yuan in loans in the first three days this month, the 21st Century Business Herald reported citing sources.

By contrast, the lenders that normally account for 30 to 40 percent of the country's total lending extended 180 billion yuan for the whole February 2012.

"Since last December, we have been increasing lending from headquarters to sub-branches," the newspaper quoted an unnamed executive at one of the big four banks. "Total new lending in February will be no less than 800 billion yuan."

China has set a target of 8.5 trillion yuan in new lending this year, up slightly from 8.2 trillion yuan in 2012. Total new loans passed 1 trillion yuan in January, a sharp rise from December's 454 billion yuan and November's 523 billion yuan.

Meanwhile non-bank lending also surged last month with an aggregate social financing worth 2.54 trillion yuan.

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