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Business trends

Chinese corporate bond defaults drop 30% on bank aid

Easy financing keeps state enterprises and small businesses afloat

Steel workers handle molten metal at a plant in Hangzhou on Feb. 24.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- Chinese businesses defaulted on less than 24 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) in corporate bonds during the first quarter, down nearly 30% on the year, as the government pressed banks to pour on support in response to the coronavirus epidemic.

The decline follows a spike in defaults in recent years and comes even as corporate earnings are laid low by virus-induced disruptions.

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