SMEs’ line of credit under the COVID-19: evidence from China

Yun Liu, Yifei Zhang, Heyang Fang, Xin Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

How does the COVID-19 affect SMEs’ financing in emerging markets? In this paper, we investigate the impact of the COVID-induced shock on Chinese SMEs’ line of credit (LOC) using deal-level data. As Hubei province was mostly affected, we employ a difference-in-differences approach with the propensity score matching (PSM-DID) and compare Hubei SMEs’ credit responses before and after the outbreak relative to those of non-Hubei SMEs. Our results suggest that Hubei SMEs’ credit demand reduced significantly compared to that of non-Hubei SMEs, and the adverse effects were more pronounced for the non-state-owned enterprises (non-SOEs) and the SMEs without prior bank relationships. Moreover, we show a negative impact on non-Hubei SMEs having supply chain relationships with Hubei province. Such effects rippled through the supply chain and exerted an intensified strike on the SMEs with Hubei customers. Finally, we find the state-owned banks eased the LOC to Hubei SMEs during the pandemic outbreak. Plain English Summary Chinese SMEs’ credit demand deteriorated after the COVID-19 outbreak, though supported by the state-owned banks. How does the COVID-19 affect SMEs’ financing in emerging markets? In this paper, we investigate the impact of the COVID-induced shock on Chinese SMEs’ line of credit (LOC) using deal-level data. As Hubei province was mostly affected, our results suggest that Hubei SMEs’ credit demand reduced significantly compared to that of non-Hubei SMEs, and the adverse effects were more pronounced for the non-state-owned enterprises (non-SOEs) and the SMEs without prior bank relationships. Moreover, we show a negative impact on non-Hubei SMEs having supply chain relationships with Hubei province. Such effects rippled through the supply chain and exerted an intensified strike on the SMEs with Hubei customers. Finally, we find the state-owned banks eased the LOC to Hubei SMEs during the pandemic outbreak. According to our study, government COVID-supportive policies should target the SME subgroups such as non-SOEs, firms that heavily rely on supply chain, and those without stable bank relationships.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSmall Business Economics
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Chinese Economy
  • COVID-19
  • Line of Credit
  • SMEs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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