Increased credit support for private companies to aid recovery

Updated: Dec 7, 2023 By XU WEI China Daily Print
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The renewed commitment from China's central bank and seven departments to beef up credit support for the private sector will help sustain the momentum of economic recovery and further shore up the confidence of private businesses, analysts said.

According to a policy document jointly released by the People's Bank of China, the National Financial Regulatory Administration and six other authorities, financial institutions in the banking sector must produce yearly targets for supporting the private sector and gradually increase the percentage of loans to private businesses in their business portfolios.

The authorities stressed the need to identify private enterprises with strong market potential and good credit, and come up with targeted plans to meet their financing needs.

The authorities also called for banks to refrain from suspending, withdrawing and discontinuing loans of private enterprises facing temporary difficulties that have marketable products, promising projects and competitive technologies.

Pan Gongsheng, governor of the central bank, said in a recent interview that the average interest rate for newly issued corporate loans stood at 3.82 percent in September, the lowest level in history.

According to the central bank, the outstanding balance of loans to private enterprises reached 41.3 trillion yuan ($580.5 billion), representing a year-on-year increase of 10.9 percent. In the first three quarters, new loans to private enterprises amounted to 4 trillion yuan, accounting for 21.6 percent of newly issued corporate loans, marking a 3.5 percentage point increase compared to the previous year.

Ensuring unimpeded financing channels for private businesses in the bond market is another policy priority.

The authorities pledged support for private enterprises by issuing asset-backed securities to revitalize existing assets, optimizing the registration mechanism for debt financing and adopting a fast-track approach for the entire registration process.

In addition, commercial banks, insurance companies and other institutional investors will be encouraged to purchase bonds issued by private businesses.

The role of the capital market will also be amplified to scale up equity financing for private businesses.

The authorities vowed to support private enterprises in initial public offerings and subsequent refinancing, with eligible private enterprises set to receive incentives in seeking overseas listings.

Liang Si, a researcher at the Bank of China's research institute, said the latest policy measures showcased the resolve of policymakers to provide funding support to the private sector from multiple channels and through different methods.

"The timing of the policy measures is appropriate as it will further enhance the readiness and capacity of financial institutions in their credit support to private businesses and sustain the nation's economic recovery," he said.


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