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China issues low-cost loans to virus-hit sectors

Xinhua,April 13, 2020 Adjust font size:

China's local banks have issued 107.5 billion yuan (about 15.4 billion U.S. dollars) of low-cost loans by Friday to support sectors hit by the novel coronavirus disease, an official said Sunday.

The loans were issued from the 500-billion-yuan re-lending and re-discount quota provided by the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, since Feb. 26 to support virus-hit businesses like spring farming, poultry and livestock breeding and foreign trade, Sun Guofeng, an official of the PBOC, told a press conference.

Among the 107.5 billion yuan worth of discounted loans, 20.5 billion yuan were agriculture-related loans, while 38.5 billion was issued to small and micro enterprises, both at average interest rates lower than the requirement of no more than 4.55 percent stipulated by the State Council, according to Sun.

The 500-billion-yuan relending facility offers inclusive and low-cost credit support for smaller enterprises to resume work and production amid the epidemic, while the first 300-billion-yuan relending quota launched late January was primarily meant for enterprises directly involved in the fight against the epidemic, said Sun.

By Friday, major national banks and local banks have issued 182.1 billion yuan worth of low-cost loans from the 300-billion-yuan funds to 4,708 key companies at actual interest rate of 1.28 percent, under the State Council cap of 1.6 percent.

"The relending funds have yielded results as shortages of medical supplies are mitigated and supply of daily necessity ensured," said Sun.

The central bank will continue to take multi-pronged measures to lower loan interest rates to help companies resume production and spur economic growth, according to Sun. 

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