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Banks urged to offer loans to local economy

THREE regulatory bodies in Shanghai have urged domestic banks to offer credit to shore up the city's economy, the Shanghai banking regulator said yesterday.

The Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission, the Shanghai headquarters of the People's Bank of China and the Shanghai Bureau of the China Banking Regulatory Commission held a meeting with heads of 24 Chinese banks urging them to provide financial support to the city's economy, the local banking regulator said yesterday.

Yan Qingmin, head of the local banking watchdog, said the financial crisis has presented daunting challenges to Shanghai and banks should give loans faster and earlier to sustain the local economy.

By the end of last month, the outstanding value of credit in the city rose 102.26 billion yuan (US$14.97 billion) to 2.5 trillion yuan. The growth was 4.47 billion yuan more than a year ago.

The local banking regulator urged banks to continue providing credit to Shanghai's major projects, including auto, light industry, manufacturing, electronics and major infrastructure works such as Metro line construction.

The big five state-owned banks have lent a combined 204.9 billion yuan between October and last month in Shanghai. Some loans of more than 100 million yuan each were given to key projects.

Banks are also asked to support a stable development of the real estate market, including giving more credit to buyers who buy homes for their own use.


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