Loans to rural areas grew by 13% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2004, reaching a total of US$161 billion, according to data released by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC). The growth represented a US$3.4 billion increase over the first quarter of 2003. The CBRC said short-term loans, or loans with maturities not exceeding 12 months, accounted for 94% of the first quarter's rural loan growth.
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