Chinese regulators say they will push banks to make new-business loans


China’s top financial regulators led by the central bank vowed Wednesday to further support the financial needs of private companies, urging banks to ramp up lending to the private sector.

This underscores Beijing’s efforts to reignite entrepreneurial spirit amid mounting economic headwinds.

Authorities are formulating policy documents, in which China’s financial institutions are urged to set annual targets for serving private firms and expand loans to companies that are first-time borrowers, the state-run Securities Times reported.

Private companies including platform businesses will be encouraged to list overseas, according to the newspaper.

Attendees at the meeting included the central bank, top foreign exchange and securities regulators and the newly-established National Administration of Financial Regulation. The Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses, representatives from major state lenders and private companies were also present at the meeting, state media reported.

In recent months, Beijing has rolled out a flurry of supportive measures to boost China’s struggling private sector, but hasn’t announced any major stimulus plans that economists say are significant enough to move the needle, as economic pressures keep piling on.

Investment by private companies dropped 0.5% in the first seven months of the year, widening from the 0.2% decline in the January-June period.

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