China cuts banks’ reserve ratios, frees up $126 billion for loans

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China central bank said on Friday it was cutting the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves for the third time this year, releasing 900 billion yuan ($126.35 billion) in liquidity to shore up the flagging economy.

Analysts had expected China to announce more policy easing measures soon as the world’s second-largest economy comes under growing pressure from escalating U.S. tariffs and sluggish domestic demand.

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The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said it would cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 50 basis points (bps) for all banks, with an additional 100 bps cut for qualified city commercial banks. The RRR for large banks will be lowered to 13.0%.

The PBOC has now slashed the ratio seven times since early 2018. The size of the latest move was at the upper end of market expectations, and the amount of funds released will be the largest so far in the current easing cycle.

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