(Yicai Global) May 18 -- Shanghai's financial industry has issued over CNY100 billion (USD14.8 billion) in loans to support companies to overcome the latest Covid-19 outbreaks.
Some CNY72.3 billion (USD10.7 billion) of the tally was granted to more than 10,000 catering, retail, tourism, and transportation firms hit by the pandemic, according to data that financial regulators released recently. An additional CNY33.5 billion was issued to 731 firms providing and transporting epidemic prevention supplies since March.
Several financial institutions in Shanghai, including the China Foreign Exchange Trade System, Shanghai Clearing House, and Shanghai Commercial Paper Exchange, have continued operating during this year's outbreaks, Yicai Global learned from them.
Many functions are online. CFETS, which helps generate interbank market rates and exchange rate prices, has been providing its clients with remote access via virtual private networks, serving over 4,000 financial institutions from 60 countries and regions worldwide, said an insider at the central bank-backed institution.
On April 21, the Shanghai arm of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission introduced 15 measures, including stepping up support to industrial companies, streamlining credit review processes, and lowering financing costs, to help corporations in the city get back to work while paying attention to safety.
Shanghai-based Hiuv New Materials, which was on the city's first whitelist of firms to resume production, is one of the companies that borrowed money amid the pandemic. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China's Shanghai branch reviewed its application in 24 hours and provided the polymer film manufacturer with CNY50 million (USD7.4 million) worth of special liquidity.
Besides loan issuance, lenders are helping their clients with credit protection. The local branch of the People's Bank of China said recently that individuals' failures to pay off loans on time will be forgiven if the delays are caused by Covid-19 prevention and control measures. Consequently, repayment schedules can be adjusted for individuals and firms that have lost their income sources temporarily amid the outbreaks.
Financial institutions have also voluntarily reduced their commission and service fees. Some 280,000 micro or small and medium-sized firms, which are clients of Bank of Shanghai, saved CNY28 million as of March 31 since the lender cut its service charges in late September, the bank said to Yicai Global.
Editors: Dou Shicong, Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi