CBRC lowers NPL requirement for small firms to boost lending

08:14, June 08, 2011      

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The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) on Tuesday announced new measures, including a lower non-performing loan (NPL) requirement, to provide better access to financing for the nation's small firms.

The measures aim to support commercial banks to make their credit growth for small businesses match their average lending growth, CBRC said in a statement on its website.

According to the CBRC statement, a loan of less than 5 million yuan (771,000 U.S. dollars) to a small enterprise will be viewed as retail lending, which brings less interest-rate risks compared with wholesale loans.

Furthermore, a loan of less than 5 million yuan to a small company will not be subject to loan-to-deposit ratio supervision, CBRC said.

The banking regulator said differentiated supervision on non-performing loan (NPL) ratio will be applied to loans to small businesses with lower NPL ratio requirements.

Those banks whose outstanding loans to small companies meet a certain proportion of their total corporate loans will be given priority to issue bonds earmarked for granting loans to small businesses, according to the CBRC statement.

The CBRC supporting measures come at a time when a number of small firms had reportedly shut down their business in recent weeks because it was difficult for them to get loans from banks amid China's economic tightening.

According to CBRC, the outstanding loans to small businesses made by Chinese banks rose 7.1 percent from the beginning of this year to 9.45 trillion yuan by the end of April, or 28.8 percent of their total lending.

The growth rate of loans to small firms was 0.6 percentage points higher than the average credit growth.

At the end of April, outstanding NPLs to small enterprises totaled 239.5 billion yuan, 14.7 billion yuan less than at the start of the year, according to CBRC. The NPL ratio for loans to small firms stood at 2.61 percent, compared with the banking sector's average NPL ratio of 1.1 percent at the end of March.

Source: Xinhua
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