BEIJING -- In the face of central government efforts to cool it down, China's real estate sector received the highest amount of medium and long-term loans of any industry in 2006, the People's Bank of China, the central bank, said on Tuesday.
The top credit recipient borrowed 335.9 billion yuan (US$43.6 billlion) from major banking institutions nationwide last year, a growth of 176.2 billion yuan (US$22.9 billion) over a year ago, the sources said.
The sector accounted for 18.3 percent of the total loans issued last year by major financial institutions, up five percent.
At the end of 2006, loans outstanding for the real estate sector stood at 1.1 trillion yuan (US$146.2 billion), up 42 percent. The growth rate was 17 percent higher than the 2005 year-end level.