HONG KONG: Chinese bank loans rebounded in August to hit 1.09 trillion yuan (US$166 billion), beating analysts' expectations as demand was buoyed by home buyers.
The figure was up from 825.5 billion yuan in July according to the Chinese central bank, and exceeded forecasts from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, although it remains far below the 1.54 trillion yuan loaned by banks in in June.
However, the broad M2 measure of money supply rose 8.9 per cent from a year earlier, down from 9.2 per cent recorded a month ago.
Chinese officials are afraid of domestic banks' growing dependence on less stable funding sources such as the sale of financial products and interbank lending, rather than traditional deposits.
They fear it could imperil economic growth and stability in the world's second-largest economy.
In March, the newly appointed head of China's banking watchdog pledged to end regulatory "chaos" in the country's banking system.
However, the sharp increase in bank loans in August showed the authorities "have no intention of stifling loans to the real economy", said economist Wei Yao of the French bank Societe Generale.
She added mortgages "represent an increasing share of total bank loans" and demonstrate the difficulties that large cities face in trying to cool the housing market despite the greater restrictions.