Better Rural Finance
China will make rural areas the key focus of developing inclusive finance to improve the rural vitalization strategies of financial institutions.
The growth of inclusive loans to farmers and small and micro agricultural businesses should be no slower than the average lending growth, while credit for targeted poverty alleviation should grow at a higher rate, according to a document on promoting rural finance issued by the Chinese banking authorities.
By the end of 2018, townships without banking institutions and villages without basic financial services should be cut by over one third, the document said.
Such financial services covered 96.44 percent of villages in China at the end of 2017, while 95.99 percent of townships had financial institutions.
The innovation of financial products and services and the strengthening of the oversight of risk were also highlighted in the document.
At the end of last year, China’s outstanding loans to farmers, agriculture and rural areas totaled 30.95 trillion yuan ($4.89 trillion), up 9.64 percent year on year.
The average price of new homes in the four first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen all fell from the previous month, down 0.3 percent, 0.2 percent, 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, according to the NBS data.
On a yearly basis, the 15 largest cities saw their average new housing prices edge down 0.1 percent last month, but growth of average new housing prices in the other 55 cities surveyed accelerated.
The prices of existing homes in first-tier cities declined for the 17th straight month in February.
This came after NBS data revealed in mid-March that growth in property development investment rebounded in the first two months of the year, rising 9.9 percent from one year earlier and accelerating from an increase of 7 percent registered in 2017.
During previous years, rocketing housing prices, especially in major cities, have fueled concerns about asset bubbles. To curb speculation, local governments passed or expanded their restrictions on house purchases and increased the minimum down payment required for a mortgage.
This year’s government work report reiterated that “houses are for living in, not for speculation.”
“We will support people in buying homes for personal use, and develop the rental market and shared ownership housing,” it said.