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 China Construction Bank, one of the country’s largest lenders, posted strong third-quarter results today. But just as important to China watchers as the bank’s profits was the indication that it was retreating from a recent surge in lending.

Like other state-owned banks, CCB sharply lifted loans in late 2008 and early 2009, contributing to the economic stimulus that has kept China’s economy growing strongly throughout the global downturn. It now appears that lenders are easing off on extending credit.

Read more at Financial Services Briefing: “Big Three bank signals loan retreat”