Bloomberg News

Chinese Bankers' Confidence Rises in First Quarter

March 28, 2007

Confidence among Chinese bankers picked up in the first quarter on loan growth and improved asset quality, the central bank said.

The bankers' confidence index rose to 60.6 in the first quarter from 58.4 in the previous three months, the People's Bank of China said in a statement on its Web site today. The reading is based on a survey of 2,850 heads of financial institutions.

The percentage of bankers who thought the economy will continue to overheat fell to 34.7 percent, from 44.7 percent in the previous quarter, the central bank said. The proportion of respondents who deemed monetary policy ``appropriate'' climbed to 68 percent, compared with 54 percent.

The People's Bank of China may need to sell more central bank bills and raise reserve ratios further to curb lending, Chen Dongqi, an economist at China's top government planning agency, said today. Outstanding bank loans in China rose 17 percent in February from a year earlier, the central bank said on March 12.

China has raised interest rates to the highest in almost eight years and increased the amount that banks must set aside as reserves five times in eight months to slow investment.

To contact the reporter for this story: Josephine Lau in Beijing at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ben Richardson at

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