Investors say rate increase is too low to warrant action Beijing residents have responded coolly to news of the central bank's first interest rate rise in nine years. Only one person out of 10 approached by the South China Morning Post yesterday at city centre bank branches greeted the rate rise with enthusiasm. 'I came to transfer 30,000 yuan from my current deposit account to a one-year fixed-term deposit right after I heard the interest rate had gone up,' said a woman who identified herself as Ms Wang, a 45-year-old account holder at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The remainder of those surveyed said they preferred other methods to earn a return on their cash. 'I think young people of my age will not bother running to the bank to transfer deposits just because of such a minor rise,' said Ms Ma, 25, a public relations worker. She had earlier invested 40,000 yuan in bonds issued by China Merchants Bank, which she said offered a 4 per cent return. 'Though its a bit risky, I think this kind of investment is better than putting money in the bank,' she said. 'Interest rates have been really low and I still regard the rate as too low for me to get excited about it.' Analysts have predicted the interest rate rise will benefit low- and middle-income families, while helping to reverse a seven-month-long decline in the growth of savings on the mainland. The central bank has chipped away at interest rates over the past two decades, lowering one-year deposit rates eight times, from 10.98 per cent in 1983 to 1.98 per cent before Wednesday's announcement. As deposit rates fell, Chinese citizens showed greater enthusiasm for investing their money in funds, buying houses and spending more on consumer items. Ms Liu, a 50-year-old manager, said her monthly loan repayments included 1,500 yuan for an imported car and 3,000 yuan for a 250-square-metre flat she bought five years ago. 'I am a little concerned that I will have to pay more for my mortgage and car loan,' she said.