China's central bank said on Wednesday it has increased re-lending and re-discount quota by 500 billion yuan (71.2 billion U.S. dollars) to help medium-sized, small and micro enterprises weather through the epidemic.
The re-lending rate for rural areas, agriculture, farmers and smaller businesses will also be lowered by 25 basis points to 2.5 percent, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said in a videophone conference.
Among the 500 billion yuan, 300 billion yuan will be allocated to small firms, 100 billion yuan to agricultural firms, and the re-discount quota will be 100 billion yuan, said the PBOC.
The PBOC also said it will offer more funding supports to key industries including travel agencies, restaurants and hotels, and will issue specialized re-lending quotas to local banks until June 30.
The latest measures are part of the country's financial efforts to support small businesses by maintaining ample liquidity. The PBOC has launched a 300-billion yuan special re-lending funds, pumped 1.2 trillion yuan into the financial system via reverse repos, and cut the interest rate of the medium-term lending facility (MLF) loans by 10 basis points to mitigate the impact of the new virus outbreak on the economy.