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July 30, 2009

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Maintaining monetary policy top priority

THE Shanghai headquarters of the central bank yesterday said it will stick to its relatively easy monetary policy in the second half to consolidate local economic growth.

The Shanghai headquarters of the People's Bank of China held its mid-year workshop in the city yesterday, outlining its priorities, with the maintenance of the monetary policy top of the agenda.

"We will keep boosting the stable and relatively fast growth of the economy as the priority of financial macro-measures," the local headquarters of the central bank said.

That was in line with the central government's stance on the loose monetary policy to boost economy rebound.

Banks in Shanghai extended new loans of 383.12 billion yuan (US$56.1 billion) in the first half, up 198.17 billion yuan from a year ago. The new loans in the first half are already 126.85 billion yuan more than the total for last year.

The new credit has fueled the local economy which expanded 5.6 percent on an annual basis in the first half, up 2.5 percentage points compared with the rate in the first quarter.

The growth, better than expected, was mainly bolstered by a quick advance in the services sector, particularly the financial industry.

Meanwhile, the central bank will deepen financial cooperation in the Yangtze River Delta region when building Shanghai as a global financial hub.

Shanghai joined hands with provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang in the first half to trim financial risks by signing a memorandum of understanding.

The central bank also takes improving financial services to prepare for the World Expo 2010 as one of the priorities on the second half agenda.

Banks will learn from their experiences during the Beijing Olympic Games.

Banks in Shanghai installed more payment machines, extended business hours, added foreign exchange currencies supply and increased head counts to serve the increased number of visitors during last year's Olympics, and this is expected to be the case next year.


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