Bloomberg News

Loan Growth Stalled at China’s Biggest Banks, News Says

May 15, 2012

A customer exits a branch of the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC) in Beijing, China. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

A customer exits a branch of the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC) in Beijing, China. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

China’s four biggest banks reported almost zero net new lending in the two weeks ended May 13, Shanghai Securities News reported today, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Two of the four lenders increased outstanding loans by less than 20 billion yuan ($3.16 billion), while the others posted drops as repayments exceeded new credit, the newspaper said. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (601398) Ltd., China Construction Bank Corp. (939), Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (3988) and Bank of China Ltd. account for about half of the loans in China.

China on May 12 cut the amount of cash banks must set aside as reserves, the third reduction in six months, pumping money into the financial system to support credit growth after data showed an economic slowdown is deepening. The 50 basis-point cut in the reserve ratios takes effect May 18.

Deposits at the four lenders fell by about 200 billion yuan in early May, according to the newspaper.

Yuan deposits at all Chinese banks decreased by 808 billion yuan in April from a year earlier, while new lending was 681.8 billion yuan, down from 1.01 trillion yuan in March, according to central bank data published on May 11.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Tong in Hong Kong at stong17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net


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