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China's loans to small firms rise

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BEIJING, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Outstanding loans to small and micro-businesses made by Chinese banks totaled 16.5 trillion yuan (2.7 trillion U.S. dollars) by the end of July, 1.6 trillion yuan more than that at the beginning of the year, according to data released on Thursday.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission said such lending accounted for 22.5 percent of the country's total outstanding loans.

To further boost financial support to small and micro-sized firms, the commission said it will lower non-performing loans (NPL) requirements for small and micro credits.

A commercial bank's NPL ratio for loans to small and micro firms can be two percentage points higher than its overall NPL ratio, said the commission.

China is implementing a slew of measures to improve its banking services to serve the real economy. Greater support has been given to small firms, which have always been at a disadvantage in raising funds.

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