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12 July 2019

China's soaring loan growth is a worrying signal - ING

ING notes that Cina's credit grew at an exceptionally fast pace in June mainly due to financing for infrastructure projects. However, the implication is that if there were no fiscal stimulus, the economy would be deteriorating.

Total financing increased by CNY2.26 trillion in June, with yuan loans increasing by CNY1.66 trillion.

Credit growth was exceptionally strong and this worries us. It means the Chinese economy needs a lot of funds to keep infrastructure investment growing at a level that can maintain GDP growth above 6% at a time when manufacturing PMIs and export growth are negative. 

There will still be big funding needs in China in 2H19, as we expect infrastructure projects to double from 2 trillion yuan to 4 trillion yuan.

These projects will raise funds from local government special bonds (net issuance of these bonds amounted to 1.19 trillion yuan), but at a later stage, when there are manufacturing activities from these projects, there will be sizeable demand for loans from manufacturers.

The central bank is expected to divert targeted liquidity to smaller manufacturers. We therefore expect two targeted RRR (required reserve ratio) cuts, one in 3Q and one in 4Q, each at 0.5 percentage points. 

If the economy needs further credit, we expect these targeted measures could become broad-based, although this is not as likely as targeted RRR cuts.

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