SHANGHAI, Aug 4 (Reuters) - The Export-Import Bank of China (EximBank) said its outstanding loans to Belt and Road Initiative projects rose 37 percent in the first half of this year from the same period in 2017, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.
President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, unveiled in 2013, aims to bolster a sprawling network of land and sea links with Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
A total of 130 billion yuan ($19.03 billion) worth of loans for projects discussed at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation last year have all been disbursed, Xinhua reported the bank saying.
The policy bank said it has increased financial support for manufacturing improvements, energy conservation and green finance. Hu Xiaolian, chairman of the bank, said the lender would maintain reasonable growth in the second half of the year, while deepening reform and defusing financial risks, according to Xinhua. From 2014 to 2017, the bank issued loans of more than 930 billion yuan. At the end of March, outstanding loans made by the bank to countries along the Belt and Road Initiative hit more than 810 billion yuan, up 29.7 percent year on year.
$1 = 6.8309 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Engen Tham; Editing by Stephen Powell