China’s banks may have distributed as much as US$175 billion in new loans in January, a single-month record, Bloomberg reported, citing state media. It is claimed that the Big Four state banks lent the equivalent of 20% of their full-year target during the month. China Construction Bank led the way with more than US$36 billion in new loans, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China lent around US$30 billion, while Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China each advanced about US$15 billion, the report said. Most of the money went toward railways, highways, electricity grids and other infrastructure. Chinese banks granted US$117.6 billion in new loans in January last year, also a record. This is partly because they frontload their lending at the beginning of the year to ease operating pressure.
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