July 18, 2020 / 5:05 PM / in 25 days

China to offer more financial support for flood-hit areas

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s banking and insurance regulator on Saturday announced measures to further increase credit and lending support and insurance protection for areas that suffered from recent floods.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said in a statement that financial institutions in the flood-hit areas cannot blindly withdraw, delay or cut credit lines to the companies who have good development prospects but whose operations were suspended by the floods.

The regulator also encouraged financial institutions to lower lending rates appropriately and improve their loan extension policy to help relevant companies to tide over difficulties.

Separately, the CBIRC urged insurers to properly perform investigations and claims settlement and arrange financial resources in advance to help flood-hit companies and people resume production and normal lives in a timely manner.

Large parts of China were reeling on Friday from the worst floods in decades, which destroyed homes and affected millions of people.

Economic activity in some parts of China, especially construction and steel and cement demand, has also been hurt by the flooding, analysts say, suggesting some loss of momentum after a stronger than expected bounce in the second quarter from the coronavirus crisis.

Reporting by Winni Zhou and Brenda Goh; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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