Chinese banks strengthened financial support for agriculture, small-and-micro enterprises and affordable housing projects last year. Outstanding agriculture-related loans stood at 28.2 trillion yuan (about 4.1 trillion U.S. dollars) at the end of 2016, up 7.1 percent year on year, according to a statement posted on the website of the China Banking Regulatory Commission. Outstanding loans to small-and-micro firms hit 26.7 trillion yuan, up 13.8 percent…Full Article: Feb 2017

Key Point

  • In February 2017, the People’s Bank of China (China’s central bank) announced they would extend its policy of allowing banks who lend to agricultural firms to have a lower cash reserve ratio.

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  • In December 2016, Alibaba’s Ant Financial hopes to distribute CNY 1 trillion (US$143.9 billion) in rural loans over the next three years (~2017 to 2020). During the same month, Ant Financial became the second largest shareholder in China’s CFPA Microfinance Management Company. Ant Financial will also set up a joint-venture with China United Insurance Holding that will support the country’s agriculture sector.
  • In September 2016, the Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) and the Ministry of Agriculture inked an agreement to use the funds to strengthen the country’s food supply/security, support international trade/acquisitions, and develop the country’s crop seed industry. As a result of the agreement, ADBC stated it would loan at least CNY 3 trillion (US$450 billion) by 2020 towards modernization efforts in China’s agriculture industry.
  • In May 2016, China’s Ministry of Finance announced the establishment of an agricultural credit guarantee company for rural businesses and farms. The credit guarantee company will be initially be funded by the Ministry of Finance (contributing CNY 3 billion or ~US$456 million) and 11 provincial/regional institutions (contributing CNY 1 billion or US$152 million). The company’s financial capital is expected to increase to CNY 15 billion (US$2.3 billion) within three years (~2019).
  • From January to March 2016, China’s Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) loaned approximately CNY 251.5 billion [US$38.8 billion] to rural infrastructure construction projects, which included CNY 49.2 billion [US$7.6 billion] for water conservancy projects, CNY 38.4 billion [US$5.93 billion] for road construction projects, and CNY 26.2 billion [US$4 billion] to renovate rural towns.
  • In August 2015, China’s State Council announced plans to permit farmers to use their contracted land and homes as collateral for bank loans. Local governments and organizations will reportedly push for lower interest rates, extended maturity for loans, and favorable credit ceilings for farmers.
  • In early March 2015, the mainland’s China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) urged domestic banks to improve rural lending services in order to modernize the country’s agriculture sector.
  • In December 2014, the Chinese government announced that it would extend tax breaks on interest revenues banks generate from loaning money to farmers (i.e. revenues are exempt from sales tax and corporate income tax, and tax will only be paid on 90% of interest revenues). In addition, the PRC government announced that the ceiling amount for small loans to farmers will be raised from CNY 50,000 (US$8,130) to CNY 100,000 (US$16,275). Lastly, the 3% discount on sales tax (county level payable) from insurance was extended through the end of 2016.
  • In April and June 2014, China cut its reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for banks that lend to agricultural enterprises by 2% and 0.5%, respectively.
  • In March 2014, China’s central bank announced the establishment of a credit system for serving small and micro-sized companies and farming households. The system, which will aid farmers to receive small loans, was to be piloted in 31 cities and 32 counties, including Gaoling County, Shaanxi Province.
  • In February 2014, China’s central bank announced they will institute customized financial services in order to modernize farming practices. For example, farmers who cultivate fruit or other crops will long growth cycles will be eligible to receive loans that have a maturity length of up to 10 years.
  • In 2014, according to China’s Ministry of Finance, farm machinery subsidies topped CNY 23.6 billion (US$3.9 billion).
  • In April 2013, China’s Ministry of Finance announced it had allocated 7.9 billion CNY (~US$1.25 billion) to support spring ploughing, combat plant pests, and enact drought prevention measures.
  • In December 2012, China established its first state-backed agricultural fund. The fund reportedly received CNY 1 billion (US$160 million) contributions from the Ministry of Finance, CITIC Group, China Agricultural Bank and Cinda Asset Management.
  • From 2003 to 2012, according to China’s Ministry of Finance, the government had invested CNY 6 trillion (US$930 billion) in the country’s agriculture sector.

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