The Financial Services Agency in Japan has started an emergency survey on the country’s banks with a China presence to gain insight into how credit costs may get affected amidst the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The survey began on 7 February and requires Japanese lenders to report on their China business, said Reuters.
Moreover, the regulator urged banks to remain flexible while responding to borrowers’ requests for more loans or borrowing condition amendments.
The latest move has been triggered by the regulator’s concerns that lending to China by Japanese banks could be adversely affected due to the outbreak.
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This is said to be vital, considering the prevalence of ultra-low interest rate environment in Japan and yields that can be gained from China’s huge market.
Financial institutions in Japan have lending of $63.57bn in China.
Several commercial banks in Japan serve Japanese companies through branches in mainland China and Hong Kong.
As per data gathered till 18 February, deaths from coronavirus Covid-19 have increased to more than 2,000. Over 75,000 Covid-19 cases have been registered across the globe to date.
Banks including HSBC, Standard Chartered, and UOB, have shuttered outlets in China, Hong Kong, and Macau in the wake of the outbreak.
Earlier this month, Singaporean bank DBS evacuated 300 employees after one employee was found infected with the coronavirus.
In its latest effort to curb the outbreak, China’s central bank has urged banks to disinfect used notes and isolate them for up to 14 days.