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Following the Chinese Politburo’s decision to tighten the central bank’s monetary policy bias, the People’s Bank of China today raised the reserve requirement on the nation’s lenders. This is the third increase in just one month, reflecting policymakers’ concerns about the extent of overheating in the Chinese economy and the potential for rising inflationary pressures. Aside from China’s large trade surplus, which has prompted calls for a change in the global currency regime, the nation’s burgeoning property markets have also contributed to concerns of asset price bubbles in major metropolitan areas. In response, the Chinese government has worked to limit transaction activity and the availability of credit in support of real estate activities. Increasingly constrained in their domestic lending activities, China’s largest lenders have turned their attention westward, emerging as an increasingly visible source of credit in the United States.

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