BEIJING, PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (6 December 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a $60 million loan agreement with Zhujiang Financial Leasing Company Limited (ZFL) to help provide increased financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the less developed central and western regions of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The agreement was signed by ADB Private Sector Operations Department Deputy Director General Mr. Christopher Thieme and ZFL Chief Executive Officer Mr. Ping Yang at a ceremony in Guangzhou.
“SMEs are important drivers of inclusive growth of the PRC economy as they provide so many jobs, but a lack of finance is an impediment particularly in less developed regions,” said Mr. Thieme. “ADB’s agreement will help meet ZFL’s funding needs so it can provide loans and other types of funding to small and medium-sized businesses in central and western PRC.”
“Since its establishment, ZFL has been dedicated to serve the real economy, strive for specialization, and support inclusive finance and green finance,” said Mr. Ping. “This loan is just the first step in a partnership between ADB and ZFL that will have a significant positive impact on SME development in central and western regions.”
The loan agreement between ZFL and ADB, under the SMEs Finance in Underdeveloped Regions Project, will enable ZFL to provide longer-tenor lease finance to underserved segments. This will also improve the company’s asset-liability profile and diversify its funding sources. ADB, as ZFL’s first development finance institution lender, will add extra value by helping the company to enhance its safeguards capacity.
ZFL, established in December 2014, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank, one of the PRC’s leading rural commercial banks. ZFL’s total assets in 2017 amounted to 12.5 billion Chinese yuan, while its leasing operations focused mainly in the central and western parts of the country.
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 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.