China plans to launch a 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) central bank re-lending facility to support transport, logistics and warehousing, sectors which have been among the worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has increasingly relied on policy tools, including low-cost loans, to support the slowing economy during the pandemic.
The central bank faces limited room to cut interest rates for fear of fuelling capital flight and inflation.
Re-lending refers to loans issued by the PBOC to financial institutions at a certain interest rate and was reintroduced last year to help combat the effects of the pandemic.
It is a policy tool that the central bank can employ to adjust the monetary base to boost credit to individual sectors or groups of enterprises.
Carbon Emission Reduction
Earlier, the PBOC said it had allocated an additional 100 billion yuan worth of loans dedicated to coal production and storage.
The bank has also rolled out re-lending facilities to support carbon emission reduction, tech innovation and elderly care to help them through the pandemic surge.
The PBOC said seven state banks in the country can join the elderly care programme and receive funds in five provinces, including Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Hebei.
“Monetary policy should coordinate with fiscal and industrial policies to jointly boost the confidence of market players, stimulate market drivers, support the real economy and achieve the goal of stable growth,” the central bank said in a statement on WeChat.
Such structural policy instruments will give financial institutions more incentives to boost lending at lower funding costs to small firms and weak links of the economy, the central bank said.
China’s outstanding re-lending and rediscount loans totalled 2.47 trillion yuan at the end of March, a rise of 526.3 billion yuan year-on-year, the central bank said.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell