Chinese companies will continue to speed up the resumption of their production and operation. Photo: Xinhua

China’s State Council on Tuesday called for speeding up the resumption of major infrastructure projects and the launch of new businesses to help improve people’s livelihoods and stabilize the job markets. 

While maintaining the necessary epidemic prevention and control measures, local governments should cancel any unreasonable regulations that restrict companies from resuming their production and operation, Xinhua reported, citing a State Council meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday. They should let workers resume their work as soon as possible, it said.

The Chinese government will expand the scheme of new business guarantee loans to cover more high-quality projects and alleviate the financing difficulties for small and micro firms and other private companies.

The government will treat the resumption of major infrastructure projects as a way to stabilize capital investment and domestic consumption growth in the country, said the State Council.

The government will speed up the construction of major projects and infrastructure that have previously been planned, including the construction projects related to 5G networks and data centers, Liu Shihu, deputy director of the investment division of the National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference on Tuesday. It will expand the scale of local government special bonds and increase the pace of these projects. 

Export tax rebate

From Friday, the export tax rebate rate for 1,084 products, including porcelain sanitary appliances, will be raised to 13% from 5%, according to a joint statement issued by the Ministry of Finance and the State Taxation Administration on Tuesday. The export tax rebate rate for another 380 products, including plant growth regulators, will be raised to 9% from 5%. 

Gasoline prices

From Wednesday, gasoline and diesel prices were cut by 1,015 yuan (US$144) and 975 yuan per ton, respectively, said Peng Shaozong, deputy director of the Price Department of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Domestic refined oil prices were reduced to reflect the decline of global crude oil prices, which had fallen below US$40 per barrel recently, the NDRC said.

Bank cards

The number of bank cards in China grew 10.82% to 8.419 billion last year from 2018, according to the People’s Bank of China (PBoC). The number of bank accounts in the country increased 12.07% to 11.352 billion for the same period. The number of bank transactions fell 14.46% to 190 million, while the transaction volume decreased 10.11% to 133.81 trillion yuan. 

Company News

According to the data from the China Vaccine Industry Association, about 20 biochemical companies, together with a lot of scientific research departments in universities, have started to develop vaccines for Covid-19.

China Eastern Airlines said it would cancel some of its flights to North America and Europe due to the intensifying global epidemic. Air China also canceled many flights coming to China.

China Vanke, a Shenzhen-based real estate company, said its operating income grew 23.6% to 367.9 billion yuan for the year ended December 31, 2019, from a year ago, while its net profit increased 15.1% to 38.9 billion yuan. The company proposed a dividend of 11.8 billion yuan for 2019.

The recent decline in A-share markets was a correction following the previous increase, said Zhu Jianfang, chief economist of CITIC Securities. Due to the easing epidemic situation in China, the Chinese economy will significantly improve in the second and third quarters and help support the A-share markets, which will not be as volatile as global stock markets, Zhu said. 

Investors should not be too pessimistic as the Chinese economy had already hit the bottom and was going to rebound, said Wang Han, chief economist of Societe Generale Securities. A-share markets will remain a good choice for local funds in the medium and long run, he said.

The story was written by Yang Zhijie and Xu Jiangshan and first published at ATimesCN.com

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