Chinese Banks Lend $14 Billion to
Farm Areas for Snowstorm Recovery in China
BEIJING — Chinese banks have lent more than 102 billion yuan ($14.4 billion) to help rebuild areas battered by winter storms, a state news agency reported Thursday. The loans are aimed at restoring farms, transportation, power, phone service and other industries across China's south, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing information from government regulators.
The snowstorms that began in January killed at least 107 people and wrecked crops, killed 69 million farm animals, ripped down power lines and destroyed thousands of homes, according to the government. It has reported total damage at 111 billion yuan ($15.6 billion).
Chinese regulators are trying to restrain a boom in credit, but they eased loan curbs in storm-hit areas and ordered banks to lend more to help farmers and businesses recover. The central bank launched a disaster fund to help finance such lending.
China's "big four" top state-owned banks account for 59 billion yuan ($8.3 billion) of the disaster loans, Xinhua said. It gave no other details on where the loans were made or who received them.
As of Tuesday evening, 92.4 percent of storm-damaged power lines and more than 97 percent of transformer substations had been restored to operation, according to Xinhua.