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Auditing Authorities Target Housing Loans

Bank loans for real estate development and individual house purchases have become the new focus of China's auditing authorities after the real estate sector was exposed as a major hot-bed of the country's non-performing bank loans.

Fan Peng, director of the Finance Department of the National Audit Office said that the Agricultural Bank of China would be the first to go through examination.
He said that the auditing drive will not be confined to individual cases involving fake mortgage loans but aims to give a comprehensive inspection on the full process of credit extending by banks.
"Specific proposals will be made on the basis of the inspection results to help banks tighten their management of housing loans," Fan said.
A total of 373.09 billion yuan (about US$45.21 billion)has been extended by Chinese commercial banks as of March to real estate development and individual consumption, up 8.5 percent from the beginning of 2005, Friday's China Securities Daily reported.
Among all industries, non-performing bank loans in the real estate sector are the fourth largest, said the newspaper.

(Xinhua News Agency July 9, 2005)

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