BEIJING-China's central bank will provide more targeted financial support for companies grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, People's Bank of China Gov. Yi Gang said.
Those measures include extending the deadlines for small companies to repay loans, enhancing government guarantees for small businesses and helping them issue more bonds, Mr. Yi said in an interview with state media released by the PBOC on Tuesday.
When asked about Beijing's financial-relief efforts compared with those of other major economies, Mr. Yi said that since February, Chinese authorities have implemented relief policies worth 5.9 trillion yuan ($826.7 billion. by injecting extra funds into the financial system and encouraging banks to extend cheaper loans.
Chinese banks have rolled over more than CNY1.2 trillion worth of loans for small firms, he said.
China's economy shrank 6.8% in the first quarter, the first year-over-year contraction in decades.
In an acknowledgment of the unprecedented challenges, Premier Li Keqiang last week dropped the country's closely watched annual economic growth target, stressing that the policy priorities are job creation and ensuring stability.
In the interview, Mr. Yi said that a digital currency developed by the central bank has been trialed in the cities of Shenzhen, Suzhou, Chengdu and the Xiong'an area for usability, convenience and risk controls. It will also be tested at some venues built for the Winter Olympics, he said.
Those tests are part of a routine process and don't mean that the digital currency has been formally launched, he said, adding that there is still no timetable for the official rollout.
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Corrections & Amplifications'
This story was corrected at 0341 GMT. The original incorrectly said the policies were worth CNY4.9 trillion ($686.6 billion).