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BEIJING (MNI) - EXCLUSIVE: China can still achieve economic growth of
around 6% this year if the coronavirus outbreak is contained by the end of March
and the government takes quick action to boost business activity, Liu Huan, a
counsellor to the State Council, said in an interview with MNI. Full-year growth
"is not going to fall through 5%," even as the economy faces "unprecedented"
challenges in Q1, and perhaps further into the year, said Liu.
EXCLUSIVE: China could issue special retail government bonds and raise the
official budget deficit target to more than 3% of GDP to counter the economic
impact of the coronavirus outbreak and ease budget strains from tax cuts and
higher spending, Liu Huan, an official advisor to the State Council, China's
cabinet, told MNI in an interview.
LIQUIDITY: The People's Bank of China (PBOC) skipped open market operations
for the second day on Thursday, leaving liquidity unchanged, according to Wind
Information. Total liquidity in the banking system is relatively high, PBOC
RATES: The seven-day weighted average interbank repo rate for depository
institutions (DR007) fell to 2.1125% from Wednesday close 2.2125%, data by Wind
Information showed. The overnight repo average decreased to 1.4219% from
YUAN: The currency weakened to 6.9805 against the dollar from Wednesday's
6.9730 close. PBOC set the dollar-yuan central parity rate higher at 6.9785,
compared with 6.9718 on Wednesday.
BONDS: The yield on 10-year China Government Bonds was last at 2.8550%,
flat from Wednesday's close, according to Wind Information.
STOCKS: The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.71% to 2,906.07. Hong Kong's
Hang Seng Index edged down 0.34% to 27,730.00.
FROM THE PRESS: China should increase fiscal inputs to safeguard funds for
epidemic prevention and introduce a new round of fee and tax cuts, according to
a statement on the government website citing the meeting of the standing
committee of the Communist Party politburo. China should increase credit support
at preferential interest rates to virus protection equipment producers, and
improve targeted preferential financial services for regions, industries and
companies affected by the epidemic. Local authorities are urged to minimize the
impact of the epidemic, stabilize the economy and maintain social harmony,
according to the statement.
China will pay close attention to the job market and prevent mass layoffs,
according to a statement on the government website citing an executive meeting
of the State Council. Local authorities are encouraged to use unemployment
insurance funds to help enterprises to stabilize employment, or to delay or
rebate enterprises' contribution to social insurances. Local governments can
also guide migrant workers who cannot return to cities for work to participate
in rural infrastructure construction, the statement said.
Chinese governments at all levels should support companies resuming
operations and building infrastructure projects, according to a commentary by
the People's Daily. Local governments should act to prevent the epidemic and
promote economic production at the same time. The commentary also urged
governments to stabilize household consumption heavily reduced due to the
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