Singapore announces multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan

January 23rd, 2009 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Singapore, Jan 23 (DPA) The Singapore government Friday announced an 11-billion-Singapore-dollar ($7.3 billion) plan of financial schemes aimed at stimulating lending to a broader range of enterprises during the current economic downturn.About 142,000 companies, or 99.7 percent of all enterprises based in Singapore, would be eligible for the schemes, which would be effective for one year from Feb 1, the Trade and Industry Ministry said.

“The aim is not to replace bank lending, but to catalyse it so that sound and viable companies can continue to carry out their business, meet their orders and pay their workers,” Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said.

The schemes come under a risk-sharing initiative in the 2009 budget announced Thursday by Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who said the government’s goal was to keep Singapore companies afloat and save jobs for locals during the economic slowdown.

The initiative is to focus on bridge loans and trade-financing schemes under which the government is to take a higher share of the default risk, ranging from 50 percent to 80 percent, the ministry said.

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