What steps are being made to encourage sustained growth in the Chinese market?
The Chinese financial market is growing. Total lending was up 11.6% and deposits grew 16.0% in 2001. China has been encouraging the growth of consumer spending and is promoting home mortgages and automobile financing in an attempt to encourage economic growth. Commercial loans to Chinese consumers for housing mortgages already exceeds US$ 50 billion, and automobile loans have topped US$ 8 billion. Consumer loans are also the least likely to default. Though only 5.7% of outstanding loans in China are consumer loans, consumer loans accounted for 20.5% of growth in new loans in 2001.