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Mainland reduces reserve benchmarks for rural banks

BEIJING -- China will cut the amount of funds rural banks must keep in reserve by up to two percentage points, the central bank said Tuesday, easing monetary policy in a bid to boost its slowing economy.

Starting Friday, the reserve requirement rate (RRR) for county-level rural commercial lenders will be trimmed by two percentage points and the rate for county-level rural cooperative banks will be cut by 0.5 percentage points, the People's Bank of China said in a statement.

The move was meant to “guide (investors) to increase agriculture-related investment and further improve the capacity and level of rural financial services,” the statement said.

China last adjusted reserve requirements in 2012, cutting them to 20 percent for large financial institutions and 16.5 percent for smaller ones. But rural lenders have even lower requirements, officials have said.

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