January 7, 2019 / 12:05 AM / 7 months ago

China studying new reforms to help small business: media

A worker adjusts a cover on the back of a truck outside a warehouse of Yonghui Superstores in Chongqing, China October 9, 2018. Picture taken October 9, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT.

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese policymakers are studying new ways to give small firms access to cheaper credit and support private sector businesses that face refinancing challenges, the official China Daily said on Monday.

The paper said financial institutions are now being mobilized to provide more support to private companies, and will be allowed to use a wider range of financial tools such as bonds and bank lending.

China is trying to avert a sharp economic slowdown, brought about by slowing domestic demand and tough U.S. tariffs on its exports.

On Friday, the central bank cut reserve rate requirements for a fifth time in a year, which is expected to free up $116 billion in cash for new bank lending.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also said on Friday that China would work to cut taxes and fees to try to boost the economy in what he described as a program of “countercyclical adjustments”.

Chinese regions are already drawing up new plans to support private businesses, with the southwestern municipality of Chongqing and the northeast province of Liaoning both announcing new measures, including relief funds, to promote private enterprise development.

China Daily said the priority of the central bank was to liberalize interest rates, create a unified capital pricing system and improve access to financing for small businesses.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Sam Holmes

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