Saturday, February 14, 2009

China's bank loans see record growth

Chinese commercial banks added 900 billion yuan ($132 billion) in new loans in the first 20 days of January, a record monthly growth in bank lending, Chinese Premier Wen Jiaobao said at the five-day World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The previous record of monthly growth in bank lending was 803.6 billion yuan, set in January 2008.

Lending by Chinese commercial banks has surged since the government lifted quotas on annual lending by banks in November. Banks added 771.8 billion yuan in new loans in December, compared to November's 476.9 billion yuan.

Meanwhile, non-performing loans (NPL) were on the decline. Outstanding NPL of all banks fell by 700.24 billion yuan to 568.18 billion yuan at the end of 2008, according to China Banking Regulatory Commission.

Banks' average NPL ratio was 2.45 percent at the end of last year, down 3.71 percentage points from 2007.

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