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FACTBOX-China's recent measures to spur growth

Published: 06 Nov 2008 00:54:26 PST

BEIJING, Nov 6 - China will spend 1 trillion yuan ($146.5 billion) over the next three years to rebuild areas ravaged by May's Sichuan earthquake, media reported on Thursday, citing the country's top planning agency. [ID:nPEK28825]

Following are some other recent steps China has taken to prop up economic growth, which has been slowing due to weakening external demand and the belated impact of restrictive domestic policies, including tighter credit.

MONETARY AND CREDIT POLICY

NOV 1 -- The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, scraps lending quotas, Xinhua quotes spokesman Li Chao as saying.

OCT 29 -- The PBOC cuts benchmark one-year lending and deposit rates by 27 basis points.

OCT 8 -- The PBOC cuts benchmark one-year lending and deposit rates by 27 bp. It also cuts banks' required reserves by 0.5 percentage points from Oct. 15.

OCT 6 -- The PBOC reopens the medium-term note market after a four-month hiatus and lengthens maturities to seven years from five.

SEPT 15 -- The PBOC cuts the benchmark one-year lending rate by 27 bps but keeps deposit rates unchanged.

It also lowers reserve requirements by 1 percentage point for all banks except China's five biggest lenders and the Postal Savings Bank. The reduction for local banks in areas hit by May's earthquake is 2 points.

SEPT 1 -- The PBOC urges banks to lend more to the rural sector, small firms and regions hit by earlier natural disasters.

AUG 1 -- The PBOC increases credit quotas by 5 percent for national banks and 10 percent for regional banks, directing them to channel the extra loans mainly to smaller firms, sources say.

EXPORT SECTOR

OCT 21 -- China raises value added tax rebates on exports making up 25.8 percent of its tariff lines as from Nov. 1.

Refunds rise to 14 percent for some textile, garment and toy exporters. Manufacturers of ceramics and certain plastic and furniture products are among other labour-intensive industries that benefit.

JUL 30 -- China raises tax rebates to 13 percent for textile and garment exporters, effective on Aug. 1.

REAL ESTATE MARKET

OCT 22 -- The deed tax payable by first-time buyers of homes smaller than 90 sq m is cut to 1 percent. Stamp tax is scrapped for buyers and sellers, and the latter no longer have to pay VAT.

As part of the package of measures, the PBOC cuts the minimum mortgage rate to 70 percent of its benchmark lending rates and reduces minimum down payments for owner-occupiers to 20 percent. Mortgage rates on housing provident fund loans fall by 27 bps.

SEPT 1 -- For regions hit by natural disasters earlier this year, the PBOC cuts the minimum mortgage rate to 60 percent of its benchmark lending rates. Down payments fall to 10 percent.

MAY-OCT -- More than a dozen cities, including Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou, announce various measures such as cash subsidies and tax cuts to encourage home purchases.

INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING

NOV 6 - China will spend 1 trillion yuan ($146.5 billion) over the next three years to rebuild areas ravaged by May's Sichuan earthquake, media quoted the planning agency as saying.

NOV 5 - The China Business News says China plans to invest 5 trillion yuan ($732 billion) on roads, waterways and ports in the next three to five years, over 2 trillion yuan ($293 billion) more than the transport ministry's initial plan.

OCT 25 - Media report that China has approved a total of 2 trillion yuan for railway investment since the start of 2004, over 1.2 trillion yuan of which has already been spent.

OCT 21 -- The cabinet approves an infrastructure programme including highways, airports, nuclear power stations and hydro-electric power stations. No price tag is given.

SEPT 22 -- China announces a tax break for public infrastructure projects approved since the beginning of 2008. In the fourth to sixth years after they start to generate revenues, they will get a 50 percent reduction on corporate income tax.

CAPITAL AND BANKING MARKETS

OCT 9 -- China abolishes the 5 percent withholding tax on interest income.

SEPT 18 -- China scraps the 0.1 percent stamp tax on purchases of equities and instructs Central Huijin, a government investment arm, to buy shares of listed Chinese firms.

The government also encourages state-owned firms to buy back shares in their listed units.

RURAL REFORMS

OCT 20 -- China raises minimum grain purchase prices by as much as 15 percent, sets up a national soybean reserve and increases buying of grains, rapeseed and cotton for state reserves to help shore up farmers' incomes.

OCT 12 -- The ruling Communist party approves landmark reforms that give peasants the right to transfer or swap their land-use rights. The change is aimed at encouraging the agglomeration of small parcels, thus boosting productivity and encouraging investment.

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