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Shanghai aims high for its leasing sector

TOTAL assets of Shanghai's leasing companies ten-folded in the past five years while industry insiders call for easier foreign exchange transactions and tax refund to expand cross-border businesses.

The assets reached 1.2 trillion yuan (US$180 billion) by the end of last year from 120 billion yuan in 2011, the Shanghai Leasing Trade Association said today.

The number of companies surged to 2,089 from 89 during the same period in Shanghai.

The total assets accounted for a quarter of the national level while the number of companies made up for a third of that in China, according to the data.

Zhao Hongwei, director of the association and president of AVIC International Leasing Co, attributed the growth to government support and development of financial services.

The Pudong New Area implemented rules in 2012 to offer financial incentives to the set-up and operation of leasing companies.

The industry has since been booming to serve areas including aviation, ship, engineering equipment, medical devices, new energy, environment protection, infrastructure, and consumption.

Zhao said financial reforms in the free trade zone further promoted development of leasing companies, and called for easier foreign exchange transactions and tax refund.

Such measures could facilitate companies to conduct cross-border services and better serve China's Belt and Road initiative, Zhao said.

The association today officially launched seven specialist committees in areas including auto, legal services, Public-Private Partnership, medical, and energy.

Professionals and experts in these areas will be invited to join the committee to advise leasing businesses in these sectors.

The association also signed Memorandum of Understanding with the management bureau of Lujiazui Financial City, Shanghai Information Center, Shanghai Credit Information Center, Shanghai United Assets and Equity Exchange to facilitate exchange of information and expand funding channels for Shanghai's leasing companies.


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