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China financial institutions told to support real economy

China's leaders are expected to target economic growth in a range of 6.5 per cent to 7 per cent this year, sources familiar with their thinking said, setting a range for the first time because policymakers are uncertain on the economy's prospects.

[BEIJING] China's government has told financial institutions to step up support for the real economy, state media quoted the cabinet as saying on Wednesday.

The government will encourage banks to deal with non-performing loans and reduce lending to loss-making firms, state radio quoted the cabinet as saying at a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

China will also encourage mergers and acquisitions among firms through issuance of preferred stocks and convertible bonds, it said.