China Construction Bank Corp, the country's biggest mortgage lender, will advance loans worth up to 500 billion yuan (HK$563.25 billion) next year as it joins other state lenders in supporting a government-driven stimulus package. The bank will extend 400 billion to 500 billion yuan worth of loans starting next year, the mainland-based Financial News reported. The amount points to loan growth next year of between 13 per cent and 15 per cent, up from 8.25 per cent during the first half of this year and compared with 13.11 per cent last year. The lending expansion will come in concert with the central government's stimulus measures to spur growth amid the global economic slowdown. About 50 per cent of the new loans will be directed towards infrastructure projects, including railways, roads, airports and the construction of affordable houses, the report said. A CCB spokesman declined to comment on the loan figure but said that the bank was actively supporting the government's efforts to boost the economy in the face of flagging exports. 'Our focus has always been on infrastructure loans, and we will certainly serve this area along with the government's directions,' the spokesman said. Several other state lenders have also pledged to add more credit or remove lending quotas to support the domestic economy. To meet its economic growth target of 8 per cent to 9 per cent next year, the central government reduced its benchmark interest rate last week by the most in 11 years and has earmarked 4 trillion yuan over the next two years for an economic stimulus package. The package, equivalent to about 20 per cent of the mainland's gross domestic product last year, will cover 10 key areas, including infrastructure, housing, transport, medical and health care, education and the environment. Samuel Chan, an analyst at JP Morgan, said the stimulus package would help improve asset quality and support loan growth at banks, although the impact would not be significant. 'It certainly appears to be a desirable cake for mainland banks to share,' he said. 'But it could only contribute 1 to 2 percentage points of loan growth for each lender. Overall, the credit quality trend is still weighing on domestic demand and the bigger economic picture.' Agricultural Bank of China, which received a US$19 billion capital injection last month, plans to advance at least 100 billion yuan to agriculture-related businesses next year. Bank of China, the country's fourth-largest lender, said last month that it would remove lending quotas for companies and give regional headquarters more authority to approve loans. As part of the move to support the stimulus policy, CCB agreed on Monday to extend at least 180 billion yuan in credit towards infrastructure projects and local businesses in the New Binhai Area, a development zone in Tianjin. The lender also said it would establish a 358 billion yuan credit line for the Ministry of Railways to finance the building of new tracks until the end of 2010.