HKSAR gov't announces stronger financing support for SMEs
Paul Chan (L), financial secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, attends a press conference in south China's Hong Kong, Sept. 4, 2019. (Xinhua/Lu Hanxin)
The government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Wednesday announced new financing support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them fend off downside economic risks.
Paul Chan, financial secretary of the HKSAR government, disclosed details about the new favorable policies after attending an SME forum on Wednesday.
Under the existing SME Financing Guarantee Scheme, a new product that provides guarantee coverage of 90 percent will be introduced, with the maximum loan up to 6 million HK dollars (US$765,300) for a single borrower and a guarantee period up to five years, Chan said, adding that SMEs will be exempted from the requirement of being in operation for at least one year.
SMEs that obtain loans through the product with 80-percent guarantee coverage can only pay interests for six months and will be allowed for an extension for another six months, Chan said.
"We are confident that the two measures can further help SMEs to cope with their capital need amid current economic difficulties," Chan said.
Edward Yau, the secretary for commerce and economic development of the HKSAR government, said the government will also simplify loan-applying procedures for its more than 40 funds to better help SMEs.
Given current global economic situation and recent violent incidents in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Purchasing Managers' Index sank to a more-than-10-year low in August, with business confidence down to its lowest on record.
The SMEs in Hong Kong in particular face great difficulties, Yau said.
The HKSAR government announced in August a package of measures to support enterprises and relieve people's financial burden, which will cost a total of about 19.1 billion HK dollars (about US$2.4 billion).