"On the heels of better than expected exports data and fairly well-contained inflation (despite Chinese New Year), this [lending data] brightens China's outlook, said Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank in a note.
(Read more: China's bank lending party keeps on rolling)
Sydney up 0.5%
Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 closed at a three-month high, extending gains from Friday, while the Australian dollar hit a fresh one-month high at $0.9070 as investors digested the latest first-half earnings reports.
Ansell lost 5 percent despite reporting a 15 percent profit rise, coal hauler Aurizon rallied 1.7 percent following an 18 percent rise in profits while UGL slumped over 12 percent on weak earnings guidance.
Banks were among the top gainers; Australia and New Zealand Banking rose 1 percent while National Australia Bank rallied 1.8 percent.
Kospi 0.3% higher
South Korean shares extended last week's gains to end at a near one-month high.
KB Financial rose over 5 percent despite being banned from issuing new credit cards or extending loans until May as a result of massive data theft.
Samsung Engineering increased over 2 percent after winning an order to build gas treatment facilities in Algeria.
India advances 0.5%
The benchmark Sensex index eked out modest gains after finance minister P Chidambaram announced that the 2013/14 current account deficit was expected around $45 billion while the fiscal deficit is seen around 4.6 percent of GDP.
— By CNBC.com's Nyshka Chandran. Follow her on Twitter