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Both Small and Medium Prove to Be Beautiful

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China Development Bank plans to offer about 10 billion yuan (US$1.46 billion) of special credit loans annually for qualified small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to go public on the to-be launched growth enterprise board (GEB), Li Zhiming, deputy chairman of the National Small & Medium Enterprises Council said.

"The long-awaited GEB is drawing near. The China Development Bank is negotiating with us to work together on the credit loans for the to-be listed SMEs," Li said at a venture capital and financing development summit in Beijing yesterday.

"The initial plan is to select 10 provinces as pilots. The annual credit loans are about 10 billion yuan."

Earlier, the securities watchdog said the first-batch of companies for the GEB may get listed at the end of October or in November. Latest figures showed about 115 SMEs had submitted application forms for the GEB.

"Financing difficulties had long been the bottleneck in developing SMEs, whose recovery is of crucial importance to employment and the sustainability of economic growth," said Li.

In the first half, 7.73 trillion yuan of new loans were issued in China, exceeding the total issued during the whole of 2008. SMEs, and small companies in particular, did not receive many new loans, however.

"The central government has kept about 3.7 billion yuan of investment capital in SMEs since 2003. This year the investment was increased to 9 billion yuan. However, SMEs should rely much more on the capital markets to raise money when seeking market-oriented financing channels," Li added.

(China Daily August 25, 2009)