BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- China's non-performing loans in the banking industry have increased due to impacts from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but the risks are under control, the country's banking regulator said Tuesday.
China's bad loans have steadily climbed amid the outbreak and will continue to rise in the coming months, said Xiao Yuanqi, chief risk officer of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, adding that the risks are controllable.
By the end of February, outstanding non-performing loans in the country's banking financial institutions excluding those in Hubei Province reached 3.3 trillion yuan (470.8 billion U.S. dollars), with the bad loan ratio standing at 2.08 percent, up 0.05 percentage points from a month ago, data showed.
Xiao said the impacts from COVID-19 are rather short-lived, as cash flows of companies will return to normal as business activities resume.
China has rolled out a string of measures to ease corporate burden, including tax and fee cuts as well as targeted monetary measures, all of which will help increase market liquidity and support companies to tide over the difficult period, Xiao said.