By Hu Xiaocen | 2013-3-21 | ONLINE EDITION
NEW yuan loans dropped 42 percent at China's "Big Four" banks as a lending spree to start the year dried up.
Combined new lending at the Big Four – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China – was 144 billion yuan (US$22.9 billion) in the first 17 days this month, a drop from 250 billion yuan in the same period last month, Shanghai Securities News reported today citing data from Shenyin & Wanguo Securities.
The lenders normally account for 30 to 40 percent of the country's "window guidance" lending set by the People's Bank of China – an instrument used by the central bank to control credit supply, according to an earlier media report.
Total new yuan lending surged to 1.07 trillion yuan in January from 738 billion yuan a year ago, according to data from the central bank.
In February, new loans retreated to 620 billion yuan due to the week-long Spring Festival holiday. Analysts said it's not surprising that lending has slowed so far this month.
They added total lending in March should be close to that in February.