FocusChina lending may ease in 2010; impact on petchems negligible

18 December 2009 07:09  [Source: ICIS news]

By Nurluqman Suratman and Judith Wang

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--China may curb its rapid loan growth next year but is likely to keep access to credits fairly loose for industries like petrochemicals to ensure economic growth would accelerate in 2010, analysts said on Friday.

Loans would register a more than 32% jump in 2009 to roughly yuan (CNY) 10,000bn ($1,464bn), which is unlikely to be repeated next year, analysts said.

The robust loan growth this year was largely due to the government’s massive fiscal stimulus, which cushioned the Chinese economy from the blows of the global recession, they said.

The share of loans to total GDP of China was projected to hit 126% this year from 106% at the end of 2008, according to international credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings.

China’s new lending in 2010 may fall to CNY7,000-8,000bn in 2010, based on the projections of Beijing-based brokerage Shanxi Securities.

“Even though you may be seeing numbers that look like credit is becoming tight it does not mean that there is a much of a serious pullback that there might be implied, said Charlene Chu, senior director and head of China bank ratings at Fitch.

At least in the first half of 2010, China’s loose credit policy was not expected to change by much, concurred Cai Xin, a credit official at Zhejiang-based China Construction Bank, citing that it would still be easy for chemical companies to get loans.

Once a solid economic recovery is in place, the government will likely adjust the policy in the second half of next year to avert potential inflationary pressures, Cai said.

China will continue to maintain a moderately lax monetary policy and loose credit environment given that the economy is still burgeoning,” said Arden Dai, an analyst from Shanghai-based Frost&Sullivan.

The Chinese economy, the third largest in the world, looks set to achieve or even surpass its growth target of 8.0% this year, largely thanks to the government’s CNY4,000bn fiscal stimulus package that will remain in place through to 2010.

Most analysts expect China’s economy to grow at a faster pace of above 9% in the coming year.

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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