China won’t set targets for individual banks’ loans to private firms: state media By Reuters

© Reuters. Guo Shuqing, China

© Reuters. Guo Shuqing, China’s newly appointed banking regulator, attends a news conference ahead of China’s parliament in Beijing

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China will not set specific targets for each bank on how much loans should be given to private firms, and banks’ credit assessment standards will not be compromised, state-owned China Securities Journal said on Monday, citing regulatory sources.

The apparent attempt to calm market jitters came after investors worried that comments made by the head of the banking and insurance regulator last week might see the financial sector take on more riskier loans.

Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), said on Thursday at least a third of big banks’ new loans to companies should be to private firms, while at least two-thirds of small and medium-sized banks’ new loans to companies should be to private businesses.

Chinese stocks, which were dragged lower by financials on Friday, advanced in early trade on Monday.

“The targets are not ‘hard’ indicators for each bank,” the China Securities Journal said, citing unnamed sources. “The regulatory authorities will not propose specific targets for a single bank.”

Guo also said on Friday on the regulator’s website that the financial institutions cannot apply ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, adding that they have to treat the difficulties facing private firms objectively.

China’s economic growth cooled to its weakest quarterly pace since the global financial crisis as a years-long campaign to tackle debt risks and the trade war with the United States have begun to bite.

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