China plans to issue 2.5 trln yuan in treasury bonds in Q4 - sources

SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Sept 29 (Reuters) - China's finance ministry plans to issue about 2.5 trillion yuan ($347.4 billion) in treasury bonds in the fourth quarter to help underpin the slowing economy, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

Policymakers are gearing up to bolster the economy hobbled by strict COVID curbs and a property crisis after it narrowly escaped a contraction in the June quarter.

The treasury bond issuance plan was made during a meeting of the ministry on Wednesday, according to the sources.

The ministry has also urged local governments to complete issuing the roughly 500 billion yuan in special bonds by the end of October under carryover quotas from previous years, the sources said.

The finance ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The planned issuance is expected to jump 21% from the issuance of 2.06 trillion yuan in government bonds in the same quarter a year earlier.

Amid weak consumption recovery and softening exports growth, authorities are doubling down on an infrastructure push, dusting off an old playbook by issuing debt to fund big public works projects to revive the economy.

The issuance of a total of 3.45 trillion yuan in local government special bonds for infrastructure has been completed by the end of June.

China's economy generally recovered and stabilised in the third quarter and the country will push ahead with its economic programme in the fourth, state media quoted Premier Li Keqiang as saying on Wednesday.

But with few signs China will significantly ease its zero-COVID policy soon, many analysts expect the economy to grow by just 3% this year, which would be the slowest since 1976, excluding the 2.2% expansion during the initial COVID hit in 2020. ($1 = 7.1965 Chinese yuan)
Reporting by Shanghai/Beijing newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Stephen Coates

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