China cuts bank reserves again to counter slowdown

Zhang Peng | LightRocket | Getty Images

- China's central bank on Sunday cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, the second industry-wide cut in two months, adding more liquidity to the world's second-biggest economy to help spur bank lending and combat slowing growth.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) lowered the reserve requirement ratio for all banks by 100 basis points to 18.5 percent.

The reduction is effective from April 20, the central bank said in a statement on its website www.pbc.gov.cn.

The latest cut in the reserve requirement shows how the central bank is stepping up efforts to ward off a sharp slowdown in the economy.

Weighed down by a property downturn, factory overcapacity and local debt, growth is expected to slow to a quarter-century low of around 7 percent this year from 7.4 percent in 2014, even with expected additional stimulus measures.

The PBOC last cut the reserve requirement ratio for all commercial banks by 50 basis points on February 4, the first industry-wide cut since May 2012.

The central bank has also cut interest rates twice since November in a bid to lower borrowing costs and spur demand.