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Hong Kong extends loan repayment holiday for small businesses

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong’s central bank on Wednesday extended its scheme giving small companies a break from repaying the principal on loans to help them cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus.

The financial hub last month cut its full year GDP forecast to a contraction of 6%-8%, from an earlier forecast of a 4%-6% contraction.

The scheme, which covers companies with annual turnover of less than HK$800 million ($103 million), was due to end at the end of October but would now run until April 30 next year, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said.

A total of 15,000 firms have enrolled since the scheme began in May, the authority added.

The Hong Kong Association of Banks said its members would “render full support to the new arrangement in an effort to relieve the cash flow pressure on enterprises.”

($1 = 7.7501 Hong Kong dollars)

Reporting by Alun John, Editring by Andrew Heavens

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