The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) – one of China’s “big four” state-owned commercial banks – will issue more targeted loans to small businesses and those with ties to government-led infrastructure investment, sources told Caixin.
Given that ICBC’s decisions are often closely in line with government policy, the move strongly suggests that Beijing is planning to take a softer stance on deleveraging after recent months have thrown up a number of threats to the country’s economic growth.
The sources said the bank, also one of China’s largest lenders, has instructed its branches to consider lending to corporate clients working in “key areas” such as infrastructure or slum renovation.
It also asked branches to offer liquidity to clients that stand to struggle from either the deleveraging campaign or a trade war with the US.
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