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ABC to up lending by 30 percent

THE Agricultural Bank of China, which received a US$19-billion capital injection from the government in October, aims to increase lending by 30 percent this year as it responds to the government's stimulus plan.

The bank plans to lend 480 billion yuan (US$70.2 billion) in 2009, completing 75 percent of its full-year target in the first half, the Beijing-based company said in a statement on its Website. The Agricultural Bank has advanced 281 billion yuan of loans in the first two months.

Chinese banks have stepped up lending after the central bank removed quotas in November last year and the government urged support for its 4-trillion-yuan stimulus plan.

Premier Wen Jiabao announced last week a 5-trillion-yuan target for lending this year, meaning that the banks are halfway there with 10 months to go.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, the nation's largest, plans to offer 530 billion yuan of new lending this year, while the Bank of China Ltd aims to advance at least 500 billion yuan.


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