(Yicai Global) Feb. 20 – Shanghai's financial sector is ratcheting up its support for the fight against the novel coronavirus. The city's lenders have taken advantage of a special central bank policy to issue 90 loans worth CNY1.31 billion (USD187 million) to 48 key companies that make products needed to curb the epidemic.
The average interest rate was 2.35 percent, Li Jun, deputy director of the Shanghai Local Financial Supervision Administration, said at a news conference today, adding that after state subsidies, the actual borrowing cost will be much lower than 1.6 percent. The bulk of the loans have been extended within the space of a day, two at the most.
Fifty-four banks had issued a total of CNY17.6 billion in so-called epidemic prevention and control loans, including these special loans, as of Feb. 18, providing support to 1,796 businesses, with a complete loan cost of about 3.62 percent. Shanghai's banking sector has also cut loan handling fees and interest by about CNY350 million for 4,360 firms stung by the epidemic.
In addition, banks have provided a total of CNY4.5 billion in renewed loans to 440 companies and extended the repayment period for 8,910, involving CNY3.3 billion. Foreign banks, including Standard Chartered, Citibank and DBS Bank, have also rolled out supportive measures.
Some 50 insurers in Shanghai have sold 300,000 policies for 522 products covering epidemic liability. They have paid out about CNY5.21 million to 38 patients confirmed to have the Covid-19 virus. They are also providing free and exclusive insurance for medical workers, volunteers, journalists and police involved in the prevention and control of the epidemic.
Editor: Peter Thomas