Bank of China (BoC) said it would reduce levels of lending in the second half while announcing a 2.5% drop in first-half earnings, the Wall Street Journal reported. BoC President Li Lihui said the bank would sell new shares and use subordinated bonds to boost capital in the second half. The bank issued US$131 billion in new loans in the first half of the year, up 38% year-on-year, making it China’s largest issuer of new loans. "We expect our loan growth in all of 2009 to be higher than other banks, but the growth will definitely slow in the second half and the slowdown will be significant since [borrowing] demand will be smaller," Li said. BoC posted a profit of US$6.02 billion for the first half, down from US$6.17 billion in the first half of last year, but higher than had been expected. China CITIC Bank also posted a fall in first-half net profits, blaming a sharp drop in interest income.