China to auction 24 bln yuan of bills

SHANGHAI, Aug 6 (Reuters) - China’s central bank said on Wednesday it would auction up to 18 billion yuan ($2.6 billion) of three-month bills on Thursday, up from 10 billion yuan of such bills sold last week.

The bank also said it would sell 6 billion yuan of six-month bills on Thursday, after suspending sales of such bills last week in an apparent effort to accommodate a temporary funding squeeze caused by China South Locomotive’s large initial public offer of equity.

On Tuesday, the central bank drained 20 billion yuan from the money market through a one-year bill issue and short-term bond repurchase agreements. It may also drain funds on Thursday through repos, which are typically not announced beforehand.

A total of 101 billion yuan in central bank bills and repos will mature this week. Last week, the central bank injected a net 14 billion yuan into the market. ($1 = 6.84 yuan) (Reporting by Karen Yeung; Editing by Edmund Klamann)