(Yicai Global) Jan. 21 -- China's privately owned and small firms were still having a hard time borrowing money last year despite falling bank loan interest rates and bond yields, according to a survey done by a Chinese think tank.
Some 77 percent of the respondents said that their financing costs remained unchanged in the first half of 2020 from a year earlier, the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences wrote in a report published yesterday. About 13 percent of the total said that their costs had fallen.
Last June, the central bank kicked off a credit support program and started allowing small and micro enterprises to postpone repaying their loans amid the Covid-19 pandemic. One-fifth of the survey respondents said that the credit scheme was China's most effective financial aid program during the epidemic.
China needs to continue easing borrowing for small and micro enterprises, said the CAFS. Policymakers should extend loan deferral and stimulus programs while using modern technologies such as Big Data to help banks analyze financial situations and demands, it added.
Almost 64 percent of the respondents said that their cash flow pressures are moderate with access to capital. Nearly 32 percent of them considered their cash flows tight and easy to break.
Borrowing money is not hard for state-owned enterprises, according to the nationwide survey that polled more than 17,600 companies. Some banks even offered loans to SOEs to fulfill their loan targets. Some accepted the offer just to buy wealth management products.
State firms borrowed as much as CNY97.4 million (USD15.1 million) on average in the first half whereas privately owned companies only garnered CNY27 million, less than a third of that.
SOEs' also had lower borrowing costs. A Liaoning province-based private manufacturing company said that the average interest rate for SOEs in the northeastern province is 3.3 percent whereas the firm itself needs to pay 7.54 percent in interest.
Most of the survey participants had borrowed money from banks. That source of financing made up 85 percent of the total. More than half of the tally consisted of short-term loans.
Editor: Zhang Yushuo, Emmi Laine