BEIJING, Feb 3 (Reuters) - China’s central bank injected 638.68 billion yuan ($92.98 billion) via short- and medium-term liquidity tools in January, down 26 percent from the previous month, data showed on Friday, signalling an effort to cool down rapid credit growth.
The reduced injections coincided with the central bank’s move to push up some lending rates, in a further sign that it is moving to monetary policy tightening as the economy stabilises.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said in a statement on its website that it lent 551 billion yuan to financial institutions via its medium-term lending facility (MLF) in January.
In late January, the PBOC raised rates on its MLF loans for the first time since it debuted the liquidity tool in 2014. It also was the first time it has raised one of its policy interest rates since July 2011.
Outstanding MLF loans totalled 3.573 trillion yuan at the end of January, compared with 3.457 trillion yuan at the end of December, implying a net injection of 115.5 billion yuan.
The PBOC also extended 87.68 billion yuan via its standing lending facility (SLF) in January.
Outstanding SLF loans were at 34.51 billion yuan at the end of January, compared with 129.01 billion yuan at the end of December, implying a net drain of 94.5 billion yuan.
The PBOC uses the SLF and the medium-term lending facility as tools for managing liquidity in the banking system.
The bank modestly raised lending rates on its SLF short-term loans as well as its open market operations rates on Friday, reinforcing views that Chinese authorities are intent on both containing capital outflows and reining in risks to the financial system created by years of debt-fueled stimulus.
China’s pledged supplementary lending (PSL) facility stood at 2.107 trillion yuan at the end of January, compared with 2.053 trillion yuan at the end of December, the central bank said.
Chinese banks doled out a record 12.65 trillion yuan of loans in 2016 to help support economic growth. (Reporting by China monitoring desk and Kevin Yao; Editing by Kim Coghill)