More than 300 Chinese firms including Meituan Dianping, China’s largest food delivery company, and smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp are seeking bank loans totaling at least 57.4 billion yuan ($8.2 billion) to soften the impact of the coronavirus.
The firms were either involved in the control of the epidemic or had been hardest hit, the sources told Reuters on Monday.
China is struggling to contain the epidemic, which has killed more than 900 people, the vast majority on the mainland, and infected over 40,000 people.
The companies seeking loans in the Chinese capital are likely to get fast-track approvals and preferential rates, said the sources, who received copies of two lists of company names sent to banks in Beijing by the city government’s finance bureau.
There are no official data so far showing the total loans Chinese companies are seeking nationwide to weather the outbreak.
The two lists also contained the size of loans sought by the firms, which include pharmaceutical firms and restaurants. The bureau had earlier said firms seeking financial support could ask for its help.
“Banks will have the final say on lending decisions,” one of the sources said. “The interest rates are likely to be on par with those offered to banks’ top clients.”