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ICBC provides US$1.17b loans for quake zone
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The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) announced on Tuesday that it has provided 8.06 billion yuan (1.17 billion U.S. dollars) in loans to companies and public utilities for reconstruction after the May 12 earthquake.

The ICBC, the country's largest lender, also said it had signed a financing agreement for supporting reconstruction projects with the municipal government of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province.

China's financial agencies had issued a total of 52.95 billion yuan in reconstruction loans for quake-stricken areas by Sunday, of which 44.6 billion yuan went to the hardest-hit Sichuan.

Meanwhile, the government has allocated 54.82 billion yuan to a disaster relief fund, including 49.71 billion yuan from the central budget and the rest from local budgets.

The death toll from the quake stood at 69,195 as of Tuesday noon.

(Xinhua News Agency July 2, 2008)

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