China’s big four state banks extended almost 300 billion yuan ($47.50 billion) in new local-currency loans last month.
The total new loans from all Chinese banks may exceed 900 billion yuan in March, based on a 30-40 percent weight that the top four lenders typically account for the total new loans.
Chinese banks issued 710.7 billion yuan in new loans in February, well below market expectations, a sign that more monetary easing may be needed to keep credit growing to avoid a sharp economic slowdown.
The People’s Bank of China, the central bank, is due to release the March money and credit data between April 10-15.
The four largest banks are Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (601398.SS)(1398.HK), China Construction Bank (601939.SS)(0939.HK), Agricultural Bank of China (601288.SS)(1288.HK) and Bank of China (601988.SS)(3988.HK).
China’s Premier Wen Jiabao this week called the big banks a monopoly that needed to be broken to get money flowing to cash-starved private firms, as the economy appears to have skidded to its slowest growth in three years, Reuters reported.