China’s State Council has called for the provision of greater financial support to small businesses resuming operation during ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
A regular meeting of the State Council convened on 25 February called for the following measures:
- Encouraging financial institutions to provide provisional repayment extensions to micro, small and medium-enterprises (MSME) and industrial and commercial registrants that have met with liquidity difficulties, including all enterprises within the Hubei province area. The State Council said that interest payments may be delayed until 30 June, with the provision of an exemption from penalties.
- Increasing re-loans and re-discounts by 500 billion yuan, to be used for small and medium-sized banks to expand their support for MSME. Reducing the re-loan rate for agricultural and small-business support by 0.25 percentage points.
- Encouraging commercial banks to expand their micro and small-loan support, and striving to markedly reduce interest rates compared to last year.
The State Council called for the big six state-owned banks to strive for YoY growth in their financial inclusion micro and small-loan quota of at least 30% in the first half of 2020.