Financing Remains Difficult for SMEs
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China's small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) continue to be plagued by difficulty in having access to financing during the second quarter, according to a key index released Thursday by the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (CASME).
China SME Financing Index, a major gauge of the country's financing status for SMEs, stood below the key 100-point mark at 97.4 in the second quarter, one percentage point lower than the January-March reading.
Earlier this month, the People's Bank of China, or the central bank, pledged to improve financial services for SMEs by offering them better access to finance while encouraging banks and financial institutions to lend more to SMEs this year than last year.
The broader China SME Development Index was 106.7 in April-June, 0.4 percentage point lower than the first three months of this year, according to CASME.
The indexes range between zero to 200. A reading above 100 shows expansion while a ranking below 100 indicates contraction.
Compiling the indexes, CASME surveyed SMEs in nine industries such as construction and the real estate sector, computer services and the software industry to register their opinions about the macro economy, production, operation, investment and financing.
CASME found the CASME Composite Operation Index remained at 99.2 in the second quarter of 2010, up slightly from the January-March period but still below the key 100-point mark, indicating a negative outlook towards their business.
The CASME Investment Index dipped slightly by 0.4 percentage point from the first three months to 111.8 in the second quarter as SMEs' investment intention weakened during this period.
(Xinhua News Agency July 16, 2010)