The central bank has sold US$12.5 billion in one-year bills in what is being seen as a move to reduce liquidity and bring bank lending under control. Coming on top of the standard sale of US$6.8 billion in bills on Tuesday, a total of US$2.7 billion has been drained from the market so far this week, all things considered. New loans came to US$39.6 billion in April, up US$29.6 billion on the same period last year. This doesn't reflect the impact of a 0.27 percentage point rise in the benchmark one-year lending rate which took place at the end of the month, itself a ploy to bring down loan growth and consequently clip the wings of China's runaway investment-led growth. Economists expect further tightening measures in coming weeks.
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