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China loosens restrictions on home loans at some big banks -Bloomberg News

Stock Markets Oct 15, 2021 01:25AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Buildings of residential compounds are seen in Shanghai, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, China October 9, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's financial regulators have told some major banks to accelerate approval of mortgages in the fourth quarter, Bloomberg News reported on Friday, citing unidentified sources.

Lenders were also allowed to seek permission to sell assets backed by residential mortgages in order to free up more loan quota, the news agency said, amid concerns that the liquidity and debt crisis at China Evergrande Group could spread to other developers.

China has been ramping up property market curbs since late 2020, introducing new measures to closely monitor and control the debt levels of developers.

But with economic growth cooling and new construction starts slowing, speculation has been rife over whether it would start relaxing those restrictions, as was done during past downturns.[ECILT/CN]

Chinese leaders, fearful that a persistent property bubble could undermine the country's long-term ascent, are likely to maintain tough curbs on the sector but could soften some tactics as needed, policy sources and analysts told Reuters this week.

Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), told 24 financial institutions at end-September to "maintain the steady and healthy development of the real estate market and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of housing consumers."

The PBOC and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Chinese regulators, who want to impose financial discipline while avoiding social unrest, have taken targeted measures such as asking state-backed firms to pick up Evergrande assets to ease its liquidity situation.

China loosens restrictions on home loans at some big banks -Bloomberg News
 

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