China’s regulatory authorities have set a target of between RMB7.2 trillion and RMB 7.5 trillion (US$1.1-1.3 trillion) for new bank lending this year, Dow Jones newswires reported, citing the China Securities Journal. Regulators have also reportedly capped new lending for the month of January at 12% of the full-year figure, possibly to curtail a trend of excess lending in the early part of the financial year. This means that the 2011 lending target would be up to 10% lower than the 2010 level. Chinese authorities have taken steps to reduce lending in recent months as inflation picked up pace. Chinese banks overshot the 2010 lending target by more than US$75 billion, sparking concern among analysts that the central bank would also find it difficult to rein in new lending in 2011.