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Financial district planned

Beijing unveiled plans for a new financial district, the largest real estate project since the Olympic Games, to be funded with 60 billion yuan in loans from China Development Bank Corp and other lenders.

China Development agreed to give Lize Holdings Co a 10.9 billion yuan credit line to develop an area 5.25 sq km in size about 8 kilometers from central Beijing's Tiananmen Square, State-controlled Lize Holdings said in a statement.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd, Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank Co will each provide an additional 8 billion yuan each, according to agreements signed on July 28.

"The development will provide a new impetus for growth" in the city after the government spent an estimated $70 billion to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing Executive Vice-Mayor Ji Lin said at a press conference.

"It builds on the foundation laid by Beijing's Olympics construction to turn the city into a world-class financial center," Ji said.

Beijing is vying with Shanghai and Hong Kong for investments by financial companies and has moved factories farther away from the city center to combat pollution.

The city accounted for 3 percent of China's gross domestic product in 2008, compared with 4.5 percent for Shanghai, according to the nation's statistics bureau.

"Most financial institutions and companies tend to maintain their head offices or at least a significant part of their staff here, which creates room for building a financial center," Liu Jieyi, vice-president of Beijing Zhongtian Real Estate Co, said.

City officials have been trying for "many years" to develop the area south of Chang'an Avenue and got "a boost of confidence" from the Olympics, he said.

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 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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