By Jonathan Davies

The Chinese central bank is to provide funding worth 500bn yuan ($81bn; £50bn) to the country's five biggest state-owned banks to counter slowing growth in the economy.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) is understood to be providing $100bn low-interest loans to each of the banks over three months.

Analysts believe it may be the first of several stimulus measures implemented by China.

The five 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.

The Chinese economy is the world's second largest, and has been the fastest growing for a number of years, but weak economic data in recent months has caused concern for the government.

It is hoped that these cash injections into the banks will help to raise business confidence and boost investment.

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