(Yicai Global) Jan. 29 -- Chinese banks lent increasingly to micro and small-sized companies as the field of inclusive finance expanded rapidly due to new measures introduced by the country's central bank.
The loan balance in the sector jumped almost 14 percent to CNY13.39 trillion (USD1.99 trillion) at the end of 2018, the People's Bank of China said in a report on Jan. 25. Inclusive finance refers to funding for the low-income population, farmers, as well as micro businesses.
The growth rate was 5.3 percentage points higher in 2018 than that of 2017. The balance of loans issued to micro and small-sized firms was CNY8 trillion, with an annual increase of 18 percent, as well as a 8.2 percentage points stronger growth rate.
The central bank has used monetary policy tools such as increasing re-lending and rediscount quotas and reducing banks' reserve ratio requirements to facilitate micro and small-sized companies' borrowing, the PBOC added.
The PBOC's monetary policies helped financial institutions to further optimize their credit structures last year, state-backed Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Lian Ping, the chief economist of Bank of Communications. Many departments will help to improve the monetary transmission mechanism this year to support the real economy, Lian added.
Meanwhile, real estate firms' credit growth has been limited, the PBOC said. The related balance was CNY38.7 trillion at the end of last year, up 20 percent from the year before, but showing a 0.9 percentage point decrease regarding growth rate. Individual property mortgages rose 17.8 percent to a total of CNY25.8 trillion while the pace of growth was down 4.4 percentage points.
Editor: Emmi Laine