Chinese bank loans may have declined to a record low as a proportion of financing in the economy, signaling an increase in the use of riskier non-bank financing sources, Bloomberg reported. New yuan financing likely fell by 14% year-on-year in December, according to the average forecast in a Bloomberg News poll of 27 analysts. The figure would mean that banks provided 55% of the country’s total financing in 2012, according to UBS AG (UBS.NYSE) estimates, the lowest since 2002. The fall marks the declining ability of official loan figures to reflect the true scale of debt as borrowers and investors switch to less-monitored, higher-margin unofficial financing instruments. The increasing use of non-bank finance poses “new challenges to financial stability,” said the International Monetary Fund.
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