BEIJING, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (16 December 2020) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Far East Horizon Limited (FEH) entered a $75 million loan agreement to strengthen the capacity of rural public hospitals and support coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic control in the People’s Republic of China.
The loan will allow FEH’s subsidiary International Far Eastern Leasing Co., Limited (IFEL) to provide finance to rural public hospitals for lease of modern medical equipment. At least 60% of the loan will be used to finance leases for COVID-19 treatment hospitals in rural areas.
“Hospitals’ bank financing activities are often constrained, because banks do not accept medical equipment as collateral. The pandemic has not only added stress to the health care system, but also reduced the availability of long-term financing from commercial sources,” said ADB’s Private Sector Financial Institutions Division Director Christine Engstrom. “This funding from ADB will help support long-term lease of health care equipment and promote the expansion of rural health care leasing operations.”
FEH will also use the loan funds to train frontline staff and promote public awareness on gender-based violence (GBV) in hospitals it operates. An increase of GBV incidence since the COVID-19 breakout has been observed in some countries.
"With the support of ADB, FEH has been able to support more rural public hospitals to upgrade medical equipment, which is undoubtedly a great support for PRC's medical industry during the COVID-19 global pandemic," said FEH Executive Director Wang Mingzhe. "In the future, we hope that ADB will join hands with FEH to support China's development in more fields."
FEH, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2011, is one of the leading leasing companies in the PRC. Financial leasing, through IFEL, is among the company’s core businesses, with operations in health care, urban public utilities, culture, tourism, construction, among others. ADB has previously supported FEH to finance rural hospitals in 12 of the least developed PRC provinces.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.