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China Encourages Banks to Extend Loan Period for Small Firms

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China's lenders have been urged to be flexible and innovative concerning loan repayment from smaller firms.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) said Friday it is trying to help small firms facing financing difficulties by extending the loan period.

According to a notice sent to various lenders, banks and small firms could stipulate such terms in loan contracts which would allow the borrower to file a new request for a credit checkup before the loan is due.

If no problem is found, the borrower could directly extend the loan period without starting all over again by signing a new contract.

Extra conditions that come along with the extended loan period could be worked out by both sides through negotiations, the commission said.

However, the commission did not define which small firms would be entitled to such favorable policies.

(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2009)