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February 23, 2017

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More loans to agriculture, small firms

CHINESE banks lent more to agriculture, small and micro enterprises and affordable housing projects last year.

Outstanding agriculture-related loans totaled 28.2 trillion yuan (US$4.1 trillion) at the end of 2016, up 7.1 percent year on year, according to a statement posted on the website of the China Banking Regulatory Commission. Outstanding loans to small and micro firms rose 13.8 percent to 26.7 trillion yuan.

Lending to affordable housing projects surged 58.7 percent from a year ago, well above the average loan growth of 12.8 percent.

China has channeled more energy into fostering agricultural development and small businesses, with financial support playing a significant role.

The central bank said on Tuesday that it will extend a favorable policy that allows banks with big lending to small and agricultural firms to enjoy a lower cash reserve ratio.

The statement also showed falling bad loan ratio and better profit for banks last year.

Chinese lenders saw the ratio of their non-performing loans fall to 1.74 percent at the end of 2016 from 1.76 percent a quarter ago.

Banks saw faster profit growth on a firming economy. Net profits of commercial lenders rose 3.54 percent year on year, 1.11 percentage points higher than a year earlier.


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