(Yicai Global) Feb. 11 -- Shanghai will extend loan deadlines and cut financing costs as part of a further 18 financial relief measures announced yesterday to provide assistance to companies and individuals affected by the coronavirus outbreak. They are an extension and refinement of 28 policies issued on Feb. 8.
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission has reduced micro and small firms' financing costs by another 0.5 percentage point, the watchdog's Shanghai branch said. Loans to such firms must not fall below the average growth rate of all loans this year.
Local commercial banks are urged to leverage central bank policy to offer loans at preferential rates to companies that make, transport or sell medical supplies and daily necessities in the fight against the epidemic.
Banks are to offer refinancing and extend the maturity period for loans used as working capital in sectors that have been hard-hit by the epidemic such as tourism, hotels, restaurants, retail, transportation and entertainment. For instance, for loans due before June 30 and which cannot be repaid, lenders should extend the loan by up to one year. Lenders are also no longer required to list loans that have been overdue for more than 60 days as non-performing loans.
Financial institutions should also grant leeway to individuals affected by the epidemic by adjusting housing mortgage repayment schedules, postponing credit card repayments and expediting insurance claims. This includes people sick with the new coronavirus-caused pneumonia who have been admitted to hospital or put in quarantine, those who are working in epidemic prevention and control, as well as those who have lost a source of income due to the outbreak.
Editor: Dou Shicong, Kim Taylor