Chinese firms have raised some four times more from bonds than stocks this year, Bloomberg reported. Bond sales are up 68% year-on-year thus far in 2011 to US$15.23 billion. Many analysts credit the surge in debt issues to tighter restrictions on bank lending by the People’s Bank of China. Others suspect that widespread expectations of future interest rate hikes to cool the country’s inflation have led firms to expand and issue debt while borrowing costs are still relatively low. China’s central bank has introduced various measures to curb bank lending in recent months, including an interest rate rise in December and a series of required reserve ratio hikes for banks.