China is reportedly to speed up approvals for spending on infrastructure in response to a slowdown in the economy.
A state-backed newspaper says the government has asked for project proposals by the end of June, even for those initially due for the end of the year.
China is heading for a sixth straight quarter of slowing growth and investment in roads, bridges and property is at its weakest in nearly a decade.
Citing government sources, the newspaper article in China Securities Journal, said Beijing did not rule out bringing forward next year’s projects, if it thought more investments would be needed to stimulate the economy.
The newspaper also cited media reports saying the central government will speed up budget allocations to various construction projects, including highway construction.
News of Beijing’s latest efforts to bolster growth lifted stock markets. Australian shares rose 1.2 percent and Britain’s FTSE 100 gained as investors bought mining companies on the prospects of more sales to China.
Chinese infrastructure stocks outperformed, while benchmark copper prices rose to a one-week high.
The five top movers on the China Enterprises Index of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong were all infrastructure related; China Communications Construction, China Railway Construction Group, China Railway Group, Anhui Conch Cement and Zoomlion Heavy Industry.