China to speed up local government bond issuance, state media says

BEIJING, Nov 24 (Reuters) - China will accelerate the pace of local government special bond issuance under the remaining quota for 2021 to boost investment, state media quoted the cabinet as saying on Wednesday, as the economy slows.

While keeping a lid on local government debt risks, local governments should play a more active role in expanding effective investment, the cabinet was quoted as saying after a regular meeting.

Local governments should quicken special bond issuance and strive to start new investment projects, it said.

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China has set an annual quota of 3.65 trillion yuan ($571.5 billion) for local government special bonds, which mainly fund infrastructure projects, this year.

The finance ministry has said local governments aim to complete the annual quota by the end of November.

China's economy faces new downward pressures but authorities should avoid rolling out economic measures in a "campaign-like and aggressive" way, Premier Li Keqiang said earlier this week.

The government is expected to propose the local bond quota for 2022 - focusing on key investment projects - to the annual parliament meeting, which is usually held in March.

($1 = 6.3872 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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Reporting by Kevin Yao and Beijing newsroom; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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