China will give more policy support to help rural credit cooperatives (RCCs) cast off their non-performing assets and strengthen their competitive ability.
RCC is the major source of funds in the country's vast rural areas. There are about 30,000 RCCs, scattered across the country. Since 2003, a program was launched to restructure the mostly unprofitable RCCs. Key parts of the reform include clarifying ownership structure, improving corporate governance and shifting responsibility for the RCCs from the central to provincial authorities.
Eight provinces and municipalities have been chosen to conduct pilot program in this round of RCC reform, and then their experiences have been extended to 29 provinces and municipalities nationwide.
In Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, rural credit cooperatives have been transformed into rural commercial banks.
Rural credit cooperatives are now enhancing their capital base, reducing non-performing loans and improving the quality of loans, and the State Council has decided to grant certain stimulating measures to foster reforms.
For example, it will help them dispose non-performing assets accumulated in the past years through issuance of commercial bills or other policy tools.
(China.org.cn by Tang Fuchun December 21, 2005)