June is gearing up to be quite a month for China’s banks, which are on track to issue US$146.35 billion in new loans for the month (yes, month, singular), according to government officials. This represented a serious uptick from the US$86.62 billion in bank lending in April and US$97.25 in May, and other reports put the June figure even higher, at US$175.62 billion, only fueling fears that some of this lending may be funnelled to the stock market and real estate investments. Meanwhile, cash-rich Chinese companies continue their global march. CNOOC and PetroChina are reportedly both planning to bid for stakes in a natural gas project in Papua New Guinea in a deal that could be worth about US$500 million. However, Beijing typically only allows one company to invest on a single overseas project, so expect a behind-closed-doors SOE cage match, unless the companies decide to bid jointly. And with all the attention the media’s been giving to Chinese outbound investment, it was comforting to see news of a Western company boosting its mainland investment. PepsiCo opened a new factory in Chongqing and has plans to open five more over the next two years. The maker of gut-balooning beverages Pepsi-Cola and Mountain Dew will invest US$1 billion in China over the next five years.