PBoC Headquarters Beijing China
PBoC Headquarters Beijing ChinaReuters

China's central bank has pumped more cash into its top lenders, as the country looks to arrest a slowdown in its economic growth with new stimulus measures.

Local media reported that the People's Bank of China (PBOC) has injected 500bn yuan ($81bn, £50bn, €63bn) into its top five banks, each of which will get 100bn yuan in low-interest loan over three months.

The amount is equivalent to a 50 basis point cut to China's reserve requirement ratio, the level of cash banks must deposit with the central bank.

The five state-owned lenders said to be receiving the stimulus are the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China and Bank of Communications. They account for at least three-fifths of the country's banking sector.

The PBOC began transferring the funds to China's big five banks on 16 September, and will complete the transfer on 17 September, according to the reports.

The central bank's move is expected to the first in a series of stimulus measures planned, according to analysts.

Recent data on industrial production, retail sales, imports and foreign direct investment have been disappointing for China, escalating concerns over a growth slowdown.

Following the weak data, economists called for further easing of monetary and fiscal policies to sustain the country's rate of growth and meet the official growth target of 7.5% for 2014.

China's Premier Li Keqiang earlier said that the country is on track to meet its growth target with the structural reforms progressing as planned.

The European Central Bank also announced a programme to provide banks with extremely low-rate loans to then loan on to the private sector. The single-currency region has experienced strong growth following 2008 financial crisis.