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February 3, 2010

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ICBC issues US$16.1b in new loans in January

THE Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world's largest lender by market value, said on Monday it lent 110 billion yuan (US$16.1 billion) in new loans in January, less than the amount in the same month of 2009.

"The lending growth in January was stable and moderate, which has satisfied the real economic demand," ICBC said.

The data showed the bank granted 117.1 billion yuan in loans in January 2009.

The bank said it would focus on financing ongoing government projects and continue to extend more loans to small businesses, while strictly controlling lending to new projects and high energy-consuming and polluting industries.

ICBC last Wednesday said its loan growth in early and mid-January was "a little fast" as many ongoing projects needed funds, but the lending pace had stabilized since, as a concentrated volume of existing loans had come due and some credit card debts had been repaid.

It also said it would maintain a "reasonable and balanced" lending rate in a move to ease rising public worries over possible credit cuts.

The government last month said it would curb its overall credit growth to 7.5 trillion yuan in 2010, compared with last year's 9.59 trillion yuan.


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