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CCB to ramp up lending to aid Chinese economy
Updated: 2008-12-02 15:01

China Construction Bank (CCB) will extend 400 billion yuan ($58.05 billion) to 500 billion yuan in new loans in 2009, 13-15 percent more than this year, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

About half of the loans would go to basic infrastructure projects as Beijing seeks to shore up growth through a massive stimulus programme, the Chinese-language Financial News said.

CCB signed an agreement on Monday with the New Binhai Area, a development zone in the northern port city of Tianjin, to open a line of credit of at least 180 billion yuan for infrastructure projects and local firms over the next three years, the bank said on its website,

The State-owned lender said it would also establish a 358 billion yuan credit line for the Ministry of Railways to finance the building of new track.

The agreement runs to the end of 2010.

The bank agreed last month to provide credit lines totalling 65.1 billion yuan to companies based in Sichuan, which is recovering from a devastating earthquake in May.

The bank has also promised to lend 60 billion yuan to small firms based in the eastern province of Zhejiang over the next three years.

CCB and other State banks have pledged to ramp up lending since the government relaxed its monetary policy in early November to help prop up growth in the face of a deepening global downturn.

Agricultural Bank of China has increased its target for new lending this year by 50 billion yuan to 410 billion yuan, while China Development Bank, which finances big infrastructure projects, increased its 2008 lending goal by 60 billion yuan.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and Bank of Communications have also pledged to increase credit to support the economy, but the banks have not provided detailed targets.

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