BEIJING, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- China's central bank on Wednesday announced lending worth 393.5 billion yuan (57.33 billion U.S. dollars) to 22 financial institutions via medium-term lending facility (MLF) to keep liquidity basically stable.
The MLF operation included 150 billion that will mature in six months and 243.5 billion that will mature in one year, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said.
The interest rates stood at 2.95 percent for the six-month MLFs and 3.1 percent for the one-year MLFs, both flat with previous operations.
Analysts believe the move aims to offset recent liquidity drains after money-pumping operations adopted before the Chinese Lunar New Year have started to become due. China Minsheng Bank's research team estimated that a total of 1.7 trillion yuan is scheduled to be withdrawn from the banking system this week.
On Wednesday's interbank market, the benchmark overnight Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate (Shibor) rose to 2.2658 percent, indicating tightening liquidity.
The MLF tool was first introduced in 2014 to help commercial and policy banks maintain liquidity by allowing them to borrow from the central bank by using securities as collateral.