Improving Inclusive Small Business Lending

BEIJING: China will continuously improve the supply of financial services for micro and small enterprises this year, steadily increase bank credit, optimize credit structure and promote a reduction in overall financing costs, said the China Regulatory Commission for Financial Services. banking and insurance (CBIRC).

The regulator recently issued a notice stating that the banking sector should continue to increase the growth rate of inclusive loans to micro and small businesses and increase the number of such businesses that have obtained inclusive loans.

Banks should strive to continually increase the proportion of unsecured loans to total inclusive loans this year.

In addition, for a large state-owned commercial lender or a national equity-based commercial lender, the number of its new micro and small business clients who obtained loans from the bank for the first time is expected to be higher than in the past year. previous.

The CBIRC also urged the banking sector to work hard to ensure that the overall interest rate on new inclusive micro and small business loans for the full year sees a slight decline from the 2021 rate.

Banks should intensify the issuance of medium and long-term credits to micro and small enterprises in advanced manufacturing and strategic emerging industries, in addition to supporting the demand for medium and long-term funds in the areas of modernization of equipment, technological innovation and green transitions.

The regulator has also encouraged banks to partner with external institutional investors in exploring a new model to serve small tech startups by combining loans with direct investments.

For micro and small businesses that face temporary difficulties but still have the intention to repay the loans and the ability to create jobs, banks should negotiate with them and decide how they will make loan principal and interest payments. according to the principle of market orientation.

In addition, the CBIRC said that all levels of regulators and banking and insurance institutions should push for the construction of credit information sharing mechanisms and funding service platforms, as well as promote the expanding the scope of information sharing in an orderly manner.

Meanwhile, Premier Li Keqiang has called for strengthened measures to stabilize economic growth, while pointing to growing uncertainties and challenges facing the economy as the nation grapples with its greatest Covid-19 challenge. 19 since the early days of the pandemic.

While chairing a symposium on the performance of the economy with experts and business leaders on Thursday, Li stressed the need for more proactive measures to stabilize growth, especially with regard to the labor market. and commodity prices.

Policy measures should be put in place from the start and strengthened where necessary, while policies already rolled out should be put in place as soon as possible, he said.

Policies in the pipeline should be introduced sooner and new plans should be considered, the Prime Minister added.

Li pointed to the complex and changing international landscape and frequent recent Covid-19 outbreaks as headwinds facing the economy, saying some areas of concern had “exceeded expectations”.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for China’s manufacturing sector stood at 49.5 in March, down from 50.2 in February, National Bureau of Statistics data showed, slipping to a contraction after remaining in expansion territory for four consecutive months.

The non-manufacturing PMI, which covers services and construction, came in at 48.4 from 51.6 in February, slipping into contraction mode for the first time in seven months.

Li reiterated the role of market players as key pillars in stabilizing economic fundamentals, saying the government must help small businesses and self-employed people who are now facing operational difficulties.

He pointed to grain production, energy supply and unhindered logistics as key factors underpinning commodity price stability.

It is important to ensure the supply and price stability of key commodities used in agricultural production and to secure a bumper grain harvest this year, he said.

The potential of discounted coal generation capacity needs to be further unleashed and supporting policies for coal-fired power plants should be put in place to ensure the stability of energy supply, the prime minister said.

He called for more coordinated measures to ensure the orderly functioning of major transport corridors and ports, saying more targeted measures should be considered to help truckers and logistics operators reduce costs.

Li pledged to continue to provide a level playing field for businesses of various types and promote the healthy growth of the platform economy to create more jobs. – Chinese Daily/ANN

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