ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Economy

China cuts benchmark rate for second time this year

Cut of 20 basis points in prime lending rate to 3.85% in line with forecasts

The headquarters of the People's Bank of China in Beijing. While the country is restarting its economic engines, analysts say activity could take months to return to pre-crisis levels.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI (Reuters) --China cut its benchmark lending rate as expected on Monday to reduce borrowing costs for companies and prop up the coronavirus-hit economy, after it contracted for the first time in decades.

The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was lowered by 20 basis points (bps) to 3.85% from 4.05% previously, while the five-year LPR was cut by 10 bps to 4.65% from 4.75%.

The move was the second cut to the lending benchmark rate this year, and the latest reduction in one of China's key lending rates. Most new and outstanding loans are based on the LPR, while the five-year rate influences the pricing of mortgages.

All 52 participants in a Reuters survey had expected a reduction in the LPR at its monthly fixing. Most had forecast a 20 bps cut in the one-year rate but a more modest 5-10 bps in the five-year as Beijing tries to keep a lid on property prices.

Data on Friday showed the Chinese economy shrank 6.8% in the first quarter from a year earlier as the virus and tough containment measures shut down factories and shops and put millions out of work. That was the first contraction since at least 1992, when quarterly records were first published.

While the country is restarting its economic engines, analysts say activity could take months to return to pre-crisis levels, with the likelihood of a global recession adding to the pressure.

The LPR is a lending reference rate set monthly by 18 banks. The People's Bank of China revamped the mechanism to price LPR in August 2019, loosely pegging it to the medium-term lending facility rate (MLF)

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more