10:27 GMT25 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The People's Bank of China on Saturday promised to help companies that have suffered losses from the coronavirus outbreak by lowering the interest rate on loans and increasing financial support for them.

    "Since the outbreak of the virus, quite large industrial enterprises and residents, who have been affected, have always remained important for the financial system services ... By increasing financial support, optimally reducing the interest rate on loans, increasing trust loans and medium- and long-term loans, we will help the enterprises deal with the consequences of the virus outbreak," the bank said in a statement.

    The central bank also promised to maintain the stability of the interest rate on the money market after its opening on Monday and ensure its liquidity.

    It will also allocate 300 billion yuan ($43.24 billion) in special refinancing loans for important national banks and some local banks from the Hubei province and other key provinces.

    The new strain of coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, located in Hubei, in late December and has since spread to more than 20 countries. The virus has already killed 259 people in China and infected about 12,000 others. More than 100 cases of the new disease were registered outside of China.

    The World Health Organization declared a global health emergency on Thursday in light of the outbreak.

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    companies, aid, coronavirus, China's Central Bank, China
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