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Steps to cool Australian property investment lending 'positive if modest': RBA

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Measures taken by Australia's banking regulator to cool investment lending in housing do seem to be working, though it is too early to say if they will be completely effective, a top central banker said on Wednesday.

[SYDNEY] Measures taken by Australia's banking regulator to cool investment lending in housing do seem to be working, though it is too early to say if they will be completely effective, a top central banker said on Wednesday.

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Deputy Governor Philip Lowe said there were early signs that tighter restrictions on banks from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority were having "positive" if modest effects.

APRA has been pressing banks to restrain their lending for housing investment to avoid taking on too much risk. Mr Lowe was answering audience questions at a conference on regulation.

Mr Lowe also said the Federal Reserve would likely raise this US interest rates this year since the US economy was strengthening. If this move pushed down the Australian dollar against the US dollar, it would be a "welcome" development.

REUTERS