Aid for smaller companies in virus fight

Huang Yixuan
Local corporate banks grant 2.2 billion yuan in loans to small and micro enterprises to help them control the pandemic and to bolster social and economic recovery. 
Huang Yixuan

Shanghai has geared up to support smaller businesses during the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.

Up to March 29, 17 local corporate banks had granted 2.22 billion yuan (US$310 million) in small and micro enterprise loans as well as loans related to agriculture at preferential interest rates, Sun Hui, deputy director of the Shanghai office of the People's Bank of China, said during a press conference on Monday.

Together with the central bank, the city’s Banking and Insurance Regulatory Bureau and the Securities Regulatory Bureau have been working to support the prevention and control of the pandemic as well as bolstering the recovery of social and economic development.

In one case, the Shanghai office of the central bank coordinated all parties to give full play to the policy effect of the 500-billion-yuan re-lending and re-discount quota which has been channeled to virus-hit sectors, to encourage financial institutions to make loans at preferential interest rates to qualified enterprises.

Also by March 29, the bank’s Shanghai office had granted 4,625 re-discounts to 19 financial institutions, with a total of 14.827 billion yuan, an increase of 72 percent year on year.

Meanwhile, almost all of the 310 listed companies based in Shanghai have returned to work.

Wu Meng, deputy director of the Shanghai Securities Regulatory Bureau, said on Monday that preliminary statistics showed that 99 percent of the companies under the bureau’s jurisdiction were back in production with 90 percent of them having over 80 percent of their staff returning to work.

Almost 70 percent of firms said production was at 80 percent while almost 30 percent have fully resumed production.

Wu also said institutions are trying to resume on-site services in an orderly manner. Taking the securities industry as an example, the number of agencies supporting on-site business handling had jumped from 15 percent to 95 percent, and the rate of employees working on site had increased from 50 percent in February to 80 percent.

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