PHNOM PENH, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) — The National Bank of Cambodia will cut the bank reserve requirement from 16 percent to 12 percent andeliminate restrictions on real estate lending effective on Feb. 1, national media said on Monday. This constituted a reversal of the bank’s monetary tightening measures brought in last year to cut inflation and rein in soaring property values, said English-language daily newspaper the Phnom Penh Post. Officials said that they hoped the looser rules would stimulate lending amid a worsening economic crisis. "We increased the reserve rate (from 8 percent to 16 percent in May 2008) because we were vigilant over the crisis and wanted to prevent the inflation. Now inflation is falling, so we lowered it to give banks easy cash to provide more loans to their customers," said Tal Nay Im, director general of the National Bank of Cambodia.