(Bloomberg) -- China’s banking regulator is asking big banks to maintain annual growth of at least 5% in outstanding loans to the manufacturing sector, the Shanghai Securities News reported Saturday.

By the end of 2020, the ratio of mid-to-long term loans to the sector should rise by 1 percentage point compared to the start of the year, the newspaper reported, citing the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission. Under supply-side financial reforms aimed at increasing support for the sector, the commission also requires the credit loan balance to grow by at least 3% this year.

READ: Big Chinese Banks Urged to Lend More to Manufacturing Sector

In the first quarter of 2020, loans to the manufacturing sector grew by 1.1 trillion yuan, according to the report, more than total new loans to the sector in the whole of 2019. Mid-to-long term loans in the quarter grew by 295.8 billion yuan and the credit loans balance grew by 452.8 billion yuan in the quarter.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.