Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC; 1398.HKG, 601398.SHA), China’s largest lender by assets, will speed up the processing of home mortgage loans at the request of the country’s central bank, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a Wednesday statement by ICBC. The People’s Bank of China on Monday asked the country’s major lenders to give priority in mortgage lending to first-time home buyers, amid concerns over the sluggish real estate market. ICBC, the first bank to publicly respond to the request, said it issued US$20.42 billion (RMB 127.2 billion) in new mortgage loans in the first four months of 2014.
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