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No Serious SARS Impact on Financial Sector: PBOC
A report released Friday by the People's Bank of China said that the latest statistics from the financial sector give no indication of a severe impact by the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) on China's financial sector.

The monthly report said that in the first five months of this year, the money supply continued to grow rapidly, both deposits and loans increased considerably and the exchange rate of Renminbi remained stable.

"So far there has been no noticeable impact on major financial indices, and, given that the epidemic has been basically brought under control, we do not expect a serious impact on the year's financial operations," the report said.

According to the statistics in the report, at the end of May the outstanding broad money (M2) was 19.95 trillion yuan (US$2.41 trillion), up 20.2 percent from the same period last year, recording the largest year-on-year growth since August 1997.

Deposits in financial institutions reached 20.13 trillion yuan (US$2.43 trillion), a growth of 21.9 percent over the same period last year, breaking the 20 trillion yuan (US$2.41 trillion) mark for the first time; while outstanding loans by financial institutions reached 15.33 trillion yuan (US$1.85), up 21.4 percent, also the highest since 1997.

The exchange rate of RMB at the end of May was one US dollar to 8.277 yuan.

The report noted that the current growth of the money supply and loans is a bit too fast, and the central bank will take the appropriate measures at the appropriate time to rectify the issue.

(People's Daily June 14, 2003)

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