China's big four banks get barely higher 2013 lending quotas-report

SHANGHAI Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:21pm EST

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SHANGHAI Jan 18 (Reuters) - China's central bank has granted its "Big Four" state-owned banks nearly 3 trillion yuan ($482.63 billion) in new lending quotas in 2013, up only slightly from 2012, the official China Securities Journal reported on Friday citing unnamed industry sources.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (ICBC) , the largest of the four banks by market value, is projected to lend 900 billion yuan, according to the quotas approved by the Chinese central bank, the newspaper said.

China Construction Bank Corp (CCB) , Bank of China Ltd and Agricultural Bank of China Ltd are expected to lend 840 billion, 700 billion and 500 billion yuan, respectively.

New loans from the these banks usually account for 30-50 percent of overall new bank lending in China.

Beijing will target 8.5 trillion yuan ($1.37 trillion) in total new local-currency loans in 2013 and 13 percent annual growth in the broad money supply (M2), the official China Securities Journal reported, citing anonymous regulatory sources.

However, thanks to the explosive growth of alternative funding channels, in particular trust loans and bonds, bank lending is losing its place as the primary measure of Chinese money supply.

The ratio of yuan loans in China's Total Social Financing (TSF) indicator has been steadily dropping, hitting a record low of 52.1 percent in 2012, and analysts believe the ratio will fall below 50 percent this year. That compares to 91.9 percent 10 years ago.

TSF is a homegrown tool introduced by regulators to measure the total amount of fundraising in the real economy. Growth in total TSF outpaced traditional bank lending growth dramatically in 2012, increasing over 23 percent thanks to a sixfold increase in trust loan issuance and 64 percent growth in bond issuance.

Bank loans increased by nearly 10 percent during the same period, according to PBOC data.

A government official said TSF is likely to grow by over 16 percent in 2013, far more than the projected 3.7 percent growth in local currency bank lending. ($1 = 6.2160 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Pete Sweeney and Chen Yixin; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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