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     BEIJING (MNI) - The following lists highlights from Chinese press reports
on Friday:
     China's CPI for February is expected to grow at 5% as a result of the
disruption to production from the epidemic, Economic Information Daily reports
by citing various sources among market analysts. The CPI grew at 5.4% in
January. Sun Binbin, the chief economist with TF Securities, told the newspaper
the growth in CPI would fall to 4.5% in March with the resumption of economic
     New yuan loans in China are expected to fall into the range of CNY800
billion to CNY1.3 trillion in February, the Economic Information Daily reports.
Citing Wang Yifeng, chief banking analyst at Everbright Securities, the Daily
said banks' short-term consumer loans and credit cards had seen significant
negative growth since the epidemic, with housing mortgages also shrinking. These
retail loans will remain sluggish until the epidemic has improved, the newspaper
     China should increase funding efficiency while boosting investment on new
infrastructure projects against the backdrop of reduced fiscal revenue from land
sales, the strict control of implicit debts and the deleveraging campaign,
Securities Times said in a front page commentary. New infrastructure refers to
high-tech projects such as 5G networks and smart cities, as well as projects
making up for shortfalls in areas such as education and medical care, the
newspaper said. 
     Two cities in China have cancelled newly-announced policies relaxing
controls on a real estate market hit by the epidemic, according to International
Finance News. The cancellations were an indication that the central government
is still keeping a tight grip on speculative activities in the property market,
the report said. Citing Yan Yuejin, the research director of the Shanghai
E-House Real Estate Research Institute, the newspaper said authorities are
cautious to reverse tight controls on home buyers, although they are more likely
to tweak policies on developers.  
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email:
--MNI Sydney Bureau; +61 405322399; email:
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