G.Tech Technology, a smart doorlock maker, in Zhuhai, Guangdong province. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Shaded0

China’s manufacturing sector saw a surge in new loans in the first five months of this year as the country strengthened financial support amid the Covid-19 epidemic, according to the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).

From January to May, a total of 1.4 trillion yuan (US$197 billion) worth of new loans has flowed to Chinese manufacturers, up 10.1% year-on-year, which is the highest growth since 2014.

The CBIRC has asked banking and insurance institutions to increase efforts to facilitate the upgrade of the manufacturing sector and help stabilize industrial and supply chains amid the epidemic, said Ye Yanfei, an official with the CBIRC.

In the first five months of the year, new loans to the manufacturing sector accounted for 11.3% of all new loans, 6.7 percentage points higher than the level at the beginning of the year.

By the end of the first quarter, the non-performing loan ratio for the manufacturing sector stood at 4.5%, flat from the level at the beginning of the year.

Ye added that arrangements such as deferring loan repayments to help small businesses pull through the epidemic had paid off.
By the end of May, outstanding inclusive loans to small and micro businesses issued by the banking sector amounted to 13.08 trillion yuan, up 27.56% year on year.

Fuel oil futures

China will begin trading futures of low-sulfur oil on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange from Monday, Xinhua reported.

The first day of trading is expected to see a batch of contracts for monthly deliveries from January to June 2021, with a benchmark price of 2,368 yuan per tonne.

The trading center conducted drills on the market trading of the futures on June 13 and 21, which included daily trading and settlement. The exercises found the overall process smooth and in line with expectations.

During the trial trading on Sunday, the daily turnover involving 187,874 transactions reached 4.93 billion yuan. Low-sulfur oil is an important fuel for shipping. The launch of the futures will allow overseas investors to access the price signals, manage risks and advance a steady operation of the sector.

Huawei in the UK

Huawei Technologies, the Shenzhen-based telecoms equipment maker, is expected to receive planning permission this week to build a 400-million-pound (US$494 million) research and development centre in Britain’s Sawston village, the Sunday Times newspaper reported.

The facility, 11 kilometers from Cambridge, will be built to research and develop chips for use in broadband, according to the report. The South Cambridgeshire District Council has been advised to approve the company’s application in full, the newspaper reported.

The story was written by Xu Jiangshan and Liu Licong and first published at ATimesCN.com. It was translated by Nadeem Xu.

Xu Yuenai

Xu Yuenai is a Beijing-based columnist specializing in international relations.