BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s northern Hebei province will offer financial incentives to companies seeking to raise capital in equity markets, state media reported, in a move coinciding with a renewed push to kickstart financing for projects in the region.

Hebei will spend up to 100 million yuan ($14.83 million) a year to encourage companies in the province to list on stock markets either in China or abroad, the state-backed Hebei Daily newspaper said on Friday.

The incentives, while modest in financial scale, point to local governments stepping up efforts to push companies to expand funding channels. Traditional sources of off-balance sheet financing are on the wane under a multi-year crackdown by Beijing on the country’s so-called shadow lending sector.

Hebei is a politically important province, located on the doorstep of the capital. It is also a key example of a local economy attempting to pivot away from traditional smokestack industries to less polluting and higher-value manufacturing.

In 2017, President Xi Jinping declared that Xiongan in Hebei province will be the site of a new development zone that will become a hub for the economies of Hebei and nearby Beijing and Tianjin.

Last month, the State Council, or cabinet, said China plans to set up a stock market in Xiongan in an effort to strengthen support of direct financing in the zone.

($1 = 6.7426 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Muyu Xu and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell


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