China has extended repayment of loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hurt by the coronavirus outbreak as part of efforts to help them weather a difficult period.
The repayment of principal and interest on loans of 1.3 trillion yuan (about 183 billion U.S. dollars) for SMEs has been extended from January 25 to May 15, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, over 40 percent of loans for SMEs have supported by continuous financing in various ways to alleviate the pressure of capital turnover on companies. The country has provided relending funds of 1.9 trillion yuan to SMEs through multiple measures including repayment of loans and financing.
Financial institutions across the country will continue to delay repayment of principal and interest for SMEs and provide more targeted services, said the commission.
China has adopted a series of policy levers to bolster coronavirus-hit SMEs including liquidity boosts, tax and fee incentives and employment support.
The central bank on Monday said it will use 400 billion yuan of a special relending quota to purchase 40 percent of inclusive loans to small and micro businesses issued by local banks from March 1 to December 31. The bank also announced relending and rediscount funding of 500 billion yuan for SMEs in late February.
The SMEs account for 90 percent of domestic market players, and contribute to about 50 percent of tax revenue and 60 percent of GDP. About 91 percent of the SMEs had resumed operation as of May 18, according to the country's industry authority.