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China unveils measures to ensure sound financial services in quake-hit Yushu

BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government announced a string of emergency measures Wednesday to provide convenient financial services for people in the quake-hit Qinghai Province and to support reconstruction.

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, would lower the deposit reserve ratio for financial institutions in the quake area by 1 percentage point from Wednesday to help increase lending, said a statement posted on the website of the central bank.

It would also reduce its rediscount rate for local Rural Credit Cooperatives by 1 percentage point to ease their financial burden.

The rediscount rate is the interest rate charged to banks and deposit institutions when they borrow money from the central bank.

The return of loans extended before the earthquake was not imperative until June 30, 2011. Residents and companies would be exempted from bad credit records if they could return their loans before the deadline, the central bank said.

The statement urged local banks to resume business as soon as possible to meet rising demand for financial services.

They should set up temporary outlets in tents, extend office hours and take measures to ensure adequate cash supplies so that residents could deposit and withdraw money conveniently.

The measures were jointly introduced by the People's Bank of China, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

The 7.1-magnitude quake struck the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu on April 14, leaving 2,183 people dead, 84 missing, and 12,135 injured as of Wednesday.

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