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China to increase financial support for anti-virus campaign

(Xinhua)    11:04, February 02, 2020

BEIJING, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- China has rolled out a raft of measures to strengthen its financial support for epidemic control, with the battle against the novel coronavirus at a critical stage, the country's financial authorities said Saturday.

China will work to maintain reasonable and sufficient liquidity, noted a circular jointly released by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and several other departments.

The central bank will use monetary policy tools such as open market operations to release sufficient liquidity into the market, and keep interest rates at a stable level, said Pan Gongsheng, deputy governor of the PBOC.

More efforts will be made to strengthen credit support for the manufacturing sector, small and micro enterprises as well as private firms, the circular noted, adding that certain fees will be reduced or exempted for listed companies in areas worst hit by the epidemic.

Pan said that the PBOC will provide relending funds of 300 billion yuan to national banks and local banks in the worst-hit regions, which will then grant credit support at favorable interest rates to key manufacturers of medical supplies and daily necessities.

He said the capital will be directed to where it is most needed to facilitate the fight against the novel coronavirus.

The PBOC will also use various means such as stronger financing support, lower lending rates, more credit loans and medium- and long-term loans to help the most affected enterprises pull through.

It also supports financial institutions to make flexible repayment arrangements when necessary on individual credit loans when those who temporarily lose sources of income due to the epidemic cannot pay back loans in a timely manner.

Repayments can be deferred during the outbreak while late repayments will not affect credit records.

The circular also required the establishment of a "green channel" to make forex and cross-border renminbi businesses more effective, urging more efforts to facilitate the imports of anti-virus supplies and support enterprises in cross-border financing for epidemic control.

On Feb. 3, the RMB cross-border interbank payment system will begin to provide services for urgent businesses related to virus prevention.

"The impacts of the epidemic on China's economy will be temporary, and the fundamentals of China's long-term and high-quality economic growth have not changed," the PBOC said.

The central bank also called for avoiding unnecessary impacts of irrational market sentiments. "We are fully confident and capable of coping with the possible impacts of the epidemic, winning the battle against the epidemic, and maintaining the momentum of long-term steady economic growth."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Bianji)

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