11 Feb '12, 4am

China's Jan lending drops

China's Jan lending drops

BEIJING: Chinese bank lending dropped 28 per cent in January from a year earlier, official data showed, suggesting Beijing is reluctant to open the credit valves too quickly for fear of re-igniting inflation. State-owned lenders issued 738.1 billion yuan ($117.26 billion) in new loans in January, down 288.2 billion yuan from the same month last year and well short of analyst forecasts for one trillion yuan, the central bank said Friday. Banks handed out 640.5 billion yuan in loans in December. Chinese banks typically ramp up lending at the beginning of the year to avoid losing quotas issued by regulators and the effects of changes in monetary policy. Analysts said the weaker-than-expected data partly reflected the earlier than usual Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in January, and the government's still tight restrictions on credit. Mark Williams, an economist at...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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