Creative financing stimulates growth in emerging industries

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Banking regulators are encouraging commercial lenders to help develop emerging industries, overhaul credit structures and look for new growth opportunities.

In Jiangsu province alone, the banking sector's balance of loans to strategic emerging industries, such as information technology, biomedicine and high-end equipment manufacturing, reached 469.49 billion yuan ($71 billion) by the end of June 2017, a rise of 12.5 percent since January.

This has involved banks offering innovative financial services like the use of intangible assets as loan collateral, the creation of credit guarantee funds and venture capital loans.

Changzhou Sujing Electronic Material Co Ltd has benefited from this program of funding.

The company manufactures thin film materials for semiconductors, flat panel displays and liquid crystal displays, and is based in Changzhou, Jiangsu province.

Sujing Electronic Material obtained a 3 million yuan loan over 12 months from the Jiangnan Rural Commercial Bank Co Ltd by using patent rights as collateral.

Another loan of 10 million yuan was agreed by using its trademark as security, while a 5 million yuan loan was put together on a risk sharing mechanism at a favorable monthly lending rate.

"Before using our patent rights as collateral, our company suffered from tight liquidity but had already used our real estate as security," said Hu Qingxiong, chairman of Sujing Electronic Material.

"We tried to borrow from small financial companies but that could only meet short-term demands. In the end, it was the Jiangnan Rural Commercial Bank that helped us and the financing cost was about 40 percent lower than that of small loan companies," Hu added.

Jiangnan Rural Commercial Bank has created a loan program that caters for the different business cycles companies face.

It offers loans to firms to stimulate growth by using their intangible assets as collateral. It also provides loans for mature small and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, listed on the New Third Board.

Backed by regulators, financial institutions have been exploring innovative risk-sharing measures with municipal and provincial governments.

The Suzhou municipal authority in Jiangsu province set up a credit guarantee fund of 1 billion yuan for companies meeting the requirements of a special bank loan, without providing any collateral.

"If a company defaults, the credit risk will be shared among the fund (65 percent), the relevant guarantor or insurance company (15 percent) and the relevant commercial bank (20 percent)," said Kan Zhe, deputy director of the China Banking Regulatory Commission's Suzhou Office.

By the end of June 2017, 1,820 companies had obtained loans worth 6.42 billion yuan with the help of the credit guarantee fund.

This in turn has stimulated growth in parts of the economy that produce goods and services.

In the first half of 2017, sales revenue from strategic emerging industries in Jiangsu increased by 12 percent year-on-year to 2.62 trillion yuan.

It accounted for 30.5 percent of gross industrial output value at all State-owned and non-State-owned industrial enterprises above 20 million yuan in main sales volume during the same period.

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