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Taiwan Banks' SME loans drop below NT$3 trillion as of April.

Taipei, June 16, 2009 (CENS)--The loans extended by Taiwan's domestic banks to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) dropped a monthly NT$25.6 billion (US$775.76 million at US$1 = NT$33) to below NT$3 trillion (US$90.91 billion) as of the end of April, a new low in 17 months, according to the Cabinet-level Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC).

Lin Tung-liang, deputy director at the Bureau of Monetary Affairs of FSC, indicated that from last July to April of this year the SME loans decreased by NT$174.9 billion (US$5.3 billion).

To help stimulate the island's economy, the FSC has a program to encourage domestic banks to offer financing to SMEs, with the program, starting July of 2005, to be carried out in four stages with annual increase of NT$200 billion (US$6.06 billion). The fourth stage spans 18 months, from July 2008 to December of 2009, with expected increase in loans totaling NT$300 billion (US$9.09 billion) to SMEs.

As of the end of April, the loans extended by domestic banks to SMEs accounted for 40.74% of their total corporate loans, which was lower than the corresponding percentage of 41.99% recorded in June of 2009.

Lin attributed the shrinking SME loans to the weak financial need among SMEs, which have been either suspending or downsizing operations due to the global economic downturn.

((JL)) (GE)
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Title Annotation:small and medium enterprises
Publication:The Taiwan Economic News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Jun 16, 2009
Words:238
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