China's banking, insurance regulator vows efforts to help SMEs overcome coronavirus troubles
China's banking and insurance regulator on Thursday pledged continued efforts to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) overcome coronavirus-related challenges and take the country's reform and opening-up in the financial sector to a deeper level.
A spokesperson for the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said the commission will fully implement policies such as allowing SMEs to delay the repayment of capital and interest. It will also guide major banks in meeting the target of achieving growth in their lending to SMEs of more than 40 percent.
The banking and insurance industry will increase funding support for new infrastructure, new urbanization initiatives and major projects, and step up efforts in financial poverty alleviation, he told reporters.
The commission will push for broader and deeper opening up in the financial sector on the condition that financial security can be assured. It supports the active participation of foreign investment in China's financial market, and encourages Chinese and foreign financial institutions to enhance cooperation in areas including products, management and personnel training, he said.
The commission will explore avenues of replenishing the capital of small and medium banks, such as the introduction of foreign or private investors through market means, as well as mergers, reorganizations and equity investment that are compliant with laws and regulations, he said.
The spokesperson also dismissed concerns about the prosperity and stability of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and its status as an international financial center following the recently approved national security legislation.
With its sound legal and financial system, a large number of high-caliber financial professionals, strong economic foundation and world-class business environment, Hong Kong can deal with all kinds of challenges, he said. The international market's confidence in Hong Kong remains undiminished, he noted, as its financial market has been running smoothly, the linked exchange rate regime remains stable, and there have been no abnormal financial outflows.
Mainland banking and insurance institutions will continue broad financial cooperation with their Hong Kong counterparts as a concrete move to support Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, he added.