China cuts 2008 bank lending growth target: report

2007-12-27 03:11:41 AFP

SHANGHAI, Dec 27, 2007 (AFP) - China's central bank has set a lower target for loan growth rate of 12 percent for 2008 in efforts to curb lending growth and cool the economy, state media reported Thursday.

Lending growth would be strictly controlled and branches required to report new loans monthly, the Shanghai Securities News reported, citing a source with a major state-owned bank.

The lending growth target for this year was 15 percent.

But that has already been overshot with new yuan loans totalling 3.58 trillion yuan from January to November, up nearly 21 percent from the same period a year earlier.

China is attempting to curb lending growth and investment spending as part of broader efforts to cool an economy that is likely to expand by about 11.5 percent in 2007, marking the fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth.

The newspaper said 2008 new loan quotas for Bank of China would be cut to 260 billion yuan from the 280 billion it notched-up in 2007.

It said ICBC, China Construction Bank and the Agricultural Bank of China were told to keep new loans in 2008 within targets set for 2007, which were 365 billion yuan, 350 billion and 310 billion respectively.