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Bank chief hints at lending review

The head of China's central bank said there is room to ease curbs on bank lending to support economic growth but gave no indication when regulators plan to do that.

Central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said that Beijing is closely watching the European debt crisis and other global factors that might hurt the country's economy but has no plans for major policy shifts.

He said any changes in the levels of banks' required reserves, which can be changed to influence the amount of lending, would be gradual.

Mr Zhou and other central bank officials were speaking at a news conference at the annual session of China's legislature.

The officials said more gradual steps are planned to make bank lending more market oriented but gave no immediate details.

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