China’s Big Four banks extended RMB70 billion (US$11 billion) in new renminbi loans in the first half of August, up from RMB50 billion a month earlier, as the central government moves to support the economy, Reuters reported, citing Shanghai Securities News. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (601398.SH, 1398.HKG), China Construction Bank (601939.SH, 0939.HKG), Bank of China (601988.SH, 3988.HKG) and Agricultural Bank of China (601288.SH, 1288.HKG) account for 30-40% of Chinese bank lending and other banks may not be extending loans at the same pace, an unidentified source told the Shanghai Securities News. Collectively, all Chinese banks extended only RMB540.1 billion in loans in July, the lowest level in 10 months. To stimulate lending, the central bank has cut 1.5 percentage points from bank’s required reserve ratio since November last year, freeing up an estimated RMB1.2 trillion and has additionally cut interest rates twice this year.
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