China strengthens financial support to southern Xinjiang

BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- China's financial regulators will increase policy support to southern Xinjiang to stimulate economic development and safeguard social stability, an official guideline said Thursday.

Measures including deepening indirect fund-raising, expanding direct financing, promoting insurance, encouraging financial innovation and stepping up infrastructure will be adopted to benefit the west China region.

The guideline was jointly released by the People's Bank of China and three state commissions respectively in charge of banking, securities and insurance sectors.

The regulators will implement favorable monetary policies, such as differentiated required reserve, re-lending and rediscount to guide financial institutions to increase credit supply to south Xinjiang region, especially for agriculture and small firms.

China's commercial banks should delegate more power to their branches in the region and improve tolerance to non-performing loans, under the condition that risks were well controlled, the guideline said.

The guideline also encouraged state-owned banks to set up branches in counties of south Xinjiang where banks are inadequate and promoted the establishment of private banks in the region.

Measures including expanding financing channels, encouraging agricultural insurance and improving financial circumstance could also be expected in the region.

In addition, the guideline said the authorities should continue to strengthen efforts to crack down on terrorism-related money laundering.

The multi-ethic southern Xinjiang is one of the less-developed regions in China, still plagued by a harsh desert environment and poor infrastructure.

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