The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) on Thursday drained cash from the money market and steered short-term interest rates higher in what was seen as a move to head off potential inflationary pressure, the Wall Street Journal reported. Nearly US$1.5 billion was withdrawn from the interbank market – the first removal of funds in three weeks – while US$7.3 billion in three-month bills were issued at higher yields than last week. The central bank also sold US$7.3 billion in one-year bills, the first such issue in eight months. The measures came following the announcement that bank lending hit US$220 billion in June, more than double the May figure. This has led to concerns that China’s agressive stimulus policies, while delivering short-term growth, may create long-term problems such as bad loans, asset bubbles and inflation.