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Report: new bank loans said to top US$146b

NEW bank loans in China will exceed 1 trillion yuan (US$146 billion) and may top 1.2 trillion yuan this month as the regulator expressed its concern over irresponsible lending, according to a newspaper report.

This month's figure may be the third-highest this year after March's and January's, the China Securities Journal reported yesterday, citing people it didn't identify. That would also represent a sharp jump from May's 664.5 billion yuan.

The news, coming in the wake of the central bank's remark on Thursday that it will stick to an appropriately loose monetary policy to support economic growth, sent bank shares higher yesterday on expectations of better profit.

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank gained 3.79 percent to 22.98 yuan while the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's biggest lender, rose 2.02 percent to 5.55 yuan, easily outperforming the key Shanghai Composite Index.

Earlier this week, the China Banking Regulatory Commission demanded that lenders avoid a sudden jump in loans at the end of each month and each quarter, a move used by domestic banks to meet internal targets.

The regulator told lenders to ensure the money is channeled to the right sectors such as small businesses to help stimulate the economy, and to monitor capital flow into the stock and property markets.

This month's lending surge was mainly fueled by mortgage loans and funding of government projects, the Journal said.

The new bank loans in the first five months of the year have reached 5.84 trillion yuan, more than last year's total and exceeding the government's target of 5 trillion yuan for this year.


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