April 12, 2019 / 8:16 AM / 2 months ago

China March new loans jump to 1.69 trln yuan, well above forecasts

BEIJING, April 12 (Reuters) - Chinese banks extended 1.69 trillion yuan ($251.59 billion) in net new yuan loans in March, up sharply from February and far more than expected, as policymakers push lenders to support struggling smaller companies and shore up the slowing economy. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted new yuan loans of 1.2 trillion yuan in March, up from 885.8 billion yuan in February. Total bank lending in the first three months of 2019 hit a record quarterly tally of 5.81 trillion yuan, suggesting months of policy loosening by the central bank are starting to bear fruit.

Broad M2 money supply in March grew 8.6 percent from a year earlier, central bank data showed on Friday, also well above market estimates. Analysts had expected an 8.2 percent rise in M2, up from an 8.0 percent rise in February.

Outstanding yuan loans grew 13.7 percent from a year earlier, the fastest pace in nearly 3 years. Analysts had expected it to hold steady from February at 13.4 percent. ($1 = 6.7172 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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