Banking Market Competition and SME Financing in China : Case Study across Chinese Provinces
Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries are reported to encounter difficulties in accessing to formal external financing resource. Banking systems in this category of countries are either under-developed or newly reformed. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether SME financing in China, measured by SMEs per capita, is affected by local bank competition, measured by number of banks per capita or share of foreign banks. Control variables such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), level of infrastructure and geographic location are also included in the regression models.
The main findings are that: when disregarding the ownership of banks, bank competition has positive impact on SME financing across Chinese provinces, although the relationship is non-linear; and foreign banks do not significantly influence SME bank financing in China. The first finding generally support the conventional theories of industrial organization and the second one offers the basis for further arguments about the role of foreign banks in financing SMEs in China.
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