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July 17, 2009

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Home » Business » Finance

ICBC's billions help trade

THE Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world's largest bank by market value, said it offered 110 billion yuan (US$16.1 billion) in new loans to help finance trade, at a time when its Western peers shied away from such lending because of the global financial crisis.

The bank's outstanding loans used to fund flows of exports and imports reached 365.7 billion yuan at the end of June, up 42.7 percent from the level at the start of this year, it said in a statement yesterday.

The World Trade Organization has forecast a 10 percent fall in global trade volume in 2009, partly because of a big drop in the availability of financing to back trade.

To help fill the gap, China has relaxed rules to make it easier for banks to grant loans in support of goods shipments in and out of the country.

ICBC said its ratio of bad loans for trade finance stood at 0.2 percent at the end of June, lower than its overall non-performing loan ratio.


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