China's foreign exchange reserves reached US$233.8 billion by the end of April, up US$21.6 billion over the beginning of this year, according to the People's Bank of China, the central bank.
Dai Xianglong, governor of China's central bank, told a meeting of managers of the bank's branches that by the end of April outstanding broad money (M2) rose 14.1 percent year-on-year to US$16, 500 billion (about US$1,988 billion), while outstanding narrow money (M1) rose 11.5 percent to 6,000 billion yuan (about US$723 billion).
He said that during the January-April period loans extended by financial institutions increased by 449.4 billion yuan (about US$54.14 billion), 64.1 billion yuan (about US$7.72 billion) more than in the same period of last year.
In addition, Dai said that, since the beginning of this year, outstanding bad loans and their percentages at all financial institutions have both posted a downward trend. By the end of April, outstanding bad loans at state-owned commercial banks had dropped by 10.56 billion yuan (about US$1.27 billion), with the percentage of bad loans dropping by 1.19 percentage points to 24.54 percent.
(Xinhua News Agency May 31, 2002)