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     BEIJING (MNI) - The following lists highlights from Chinese press reports
on Wednesday:
     China will exempt the value-added tax for small-scale taxpayers in Hubei
province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, and lower the tax rate to
1% from 3% in other regions from March to May, according to a government
statement. The announcement on cited the State Council executive
meeting late Tuesday, and said China would also add CNY500 billion in
refinancing and through rediscount quotas, mainly to increase small and medium
banks' credit support for small firms. Policy banks would increase CNY350
billion in special credit lines, which would be issued to private and small
companies at preferential interest rates, according to the statement.
     The PBOC and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC)
will use a variety of policy tools to maintain sufficient liquidity and will
encourage commercial banks to provide differentiated credit arrangements for
small and medium-sized enterprises, the People's Daily reports. The Daily cites
Guo Shuqing, the head of the CBIRC, who said various measures had been taken to
guide the financial industry to fully support the resumption of production,
while firmly avoiding systemic financial risks.
     The CBIRC has asked banks to offer forbearance to small and medium
enterprises until the end of June, according to Xiao Yuanqi, the spokesman for
the authority. Quoting Xiao, the Securities Times reports that the CBIRC has not
changed its tight policy on financing for real estate developers, while policy
details for some banks have been tweaked under the basic framework.
     A leading Chinese newspaper has advocated the Government issue vouchers to
consumers to stimulate demand to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus
epidemic. In a front-page commentary, Securities Times says consumer vouchers
would be an unconventional short-term stimulus, and the Government should also
be alert to fiscal and inflationary pressures at the same time. The Times said
the distribution of any vouchers should be limited and the cash process strictly
controlled to avoid chaos, such as acquisition by merchants.
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email:
--MNI Sydney Bureau; +61 405322399; email:
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