International banks' market share of foreign currency loans fell from 15 per cent in 2001 to 7.4 per cent in 2002. The figures were given in a paper compiled by European banks from statistics published by the People's Bank of China ahead of the China-EU summit meeting in October. A foreign banker told the Financial Timesthat Chinese banks had been using their liquidity for aggressive lending in this area. A number of large projects involving multinationals, such as Shanghai's new deepwater port, have been financed mostly by Chinese banks.
The paper also said that the number of foreign banks in China has shrunk since the country joined the World Trade Organisation – from 214 representative offices in 2001 to 211 in 2002, as some foreign banks decided that China was not worth the effort.
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