Relief Measures for Businesses

The outbreak of Novel Coronavirus raises global alarm. CMA gathers measures to support enterprises in coping with the new epidemic.


Please refer to the Chinese version. 
To ease the financial burden and cash flow of businesses and individuals arising from COVID-19, the Chief Executive announced on April 8 a series of relief measures, including the automatic extension of deadlines by three months for payment of Salaries Tax, tax under Personal Assessment and Profits Tax for the year of assessment 2018/19 that will be falling due in April to June this year.  No application by taxpayers is required for the relief.

For taxpayers who have promptly settled the first instalment of their respective demand notes under Salaries Tax, Personal Assessment and Profits Tax for the year of assessment 2018/19, the deadline for payment of tax for the second instalment will be automatically extended for 3 months from the due date of the second instalment as specified on the demand note.  If the extended deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the deadline will be the next working day. 

If the Salaries Tax, Personal Assessment and Profits Tax demand notes for the year of assessment 2018/19 fall due between April to June 2020, the deadline for payment of all tax payable thereon will be automatically extended for 3 months.  

The above relief measure is not applicable to taxpayers who have to settle their tax liabilities before departing Hong Kong and taxpayers paying Property Tax.

For other information, please refer to:
The Government today announced that applications are open for several support schemes following the funding approval of the second round of the Anti-epidemic Fund and other relief measures by the Legislative Council Finance Committee.

The Club-house Subsidy Scheme, which provides a one-off subsidy of $100,000 to eligible club-houses, is now open for application. The deadline for application is May 18.

Upon submission of the completed application form and supporting documents, the disbursement of subsidies could generally be made in around two weeks.

The Travel Agents & Practitioners Support Scheme and the Hotel Sector Support Scheme are also open for applications, with the deadlines on June 15 and May 18 respectively.

The Subsidy Scheme for the Refuse Transfer Station Account Holders for Transporting Municipal Solid Waste, which offers a one-off subsidy of $8,000 to each of the eligible private municipal solid waste collectors operating in the first quarter, was also endorsed.

To ease the application procedures, the Environmental Protection Department will post cheques to recipients of this special subsidy in about a week after the funding endorsement.

Meanwhile, the total guarantee commitment of the Special 100% Loan Guarantee under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme has been increased to $50 billion.

The maximum loan amount per enterprise has been increased to $4 million and the principal moratorium arrangement has been extended to the first 12 months.

The Special 100% Loan Guarantee will start receiving applications from April 20 and the application period has been extended to one year.

For other information, please refer to:
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has caused extensive disruptions to businesses operating in or having close trading associations with companies in China and beyond.

KPMG issued the Financial Reporting Hot Topics newsletter to discuss general financial reporting considerations as a result of the outbreak, with a specific focus on Hong Kong-listed issuers. 
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) poses an additional challenge to Hong Kong’s economy which is already in a technical recession following the social unrest in 2019. The COVID-19 epidemic has caused adverse impacts on the financial conditions of businesses and borrowers in the city. Subsequent to the issuance of a circular by the HKMA on 6 February 2020, where the regulator encouraged authorized institutions to adopt a sympathetic stance in dealing with customers facing financial stress due to the epidemic1, all six domestic systematically important authorized institutions (D-SIBs) and three locally incorporated authorized institutions in Hong Kong have rolled out temporary relief measures.

The key relief measures offered or to be offered by nine banks in Hong Kong as of 18 February 2020 are highlighted below:

For Retail Customers

  • Most banks offer principal moratorium for mortgage loans up to a maximum of 12 months.
  • HSBC is the only bank offering a special loan scheme for retail customers.
  • Fee waiver for late payment and certain remittance.
  • Hang Seng Bank is allowing its customers to apply for debt restructuring.

For Corporate Customers

  • Principal moratorium for various loans are offered, including taxi, public bus, public light bus and trade finance loans.
  • HSBC, BEA and Citibank allow eligible customers to convert unused trade lines into a 6-month overdraft facility of up to HKD 10 million to meet daily operational needs.
  • Most banks allow for at least 1-month extension on trade loans tenor.
  • BEA will waive charges for past due loans.

For Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

  • Some banks offer principal moratorium for SME Financing Guarantee Scheme (SFGS) and SME Loan Guarantee Scheme (SGS).
  • BOCHK and CNCBI launched a special loan scheme for SMEs with fast-track loan approval within 1 to 5 working days
  • Most banks have waived application fees and are subsidising the guarantee fees for new applicants under the SFGS and SGS.

For Insurance Customers

  • Certain life insurance customers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are entitled to receive additional hospital coverage during the coverage period.
  • Life insurance customers can apply for an extension of renewal premium payment grace period from 30 to 180 days.
  • BOCHK has simplified claim procedures and allows priority approval for life insurance customers affected by COVID-19.

Other Relief Measures

  • BOCHK and DBS are offering financial support to manufacturers of medical and anti-epidemic supplies, protection equipment and pharmaceuticals.
  • There is a significant increase in the use of digital and phone banking to avoid physical visits at the branch.
  • Special hotlines have been set up as a result of the outbreak.
Further details, please refer to the Analysis.
A new round of enhancement measures to the SME Export Marketing Fund (EMF) are summarised below:
Effective Date of Enhancement Measures 20 January 2020
Funding Scope
  • Export promotion activities including trade fairs/exhibitions outside Hong Kong, local trade fairs/exhibitions target markets outside Hong Kong, Business missions outside Hong Kong and relevant advertisement placement or promotions etc.
  • Business missions organised by Government, Government-related organisations or non-profit distributing trade and industrial organisations for the purpose of market expansion, the itinerary must include business meetings with the local government, the local trade and industry or the local trade and industrial organisations of the city of the activity, or include factory or site visits in the city of the activity.  For other business missions, the itinerary must include one-on-one business matching sessions for enterprises to meet with foreign buyers.
Cumulative Funding Ceiling per Enterprise HK$800,000
Funding Ceiling per Project The maximum amount of funding support for each successful application is 50% of the total approved expenditure incurred by the applicant enterprise or $100,000, whichever is the less.
Ceiling of Funding Project No limit
Initial Payment Enterprises may apply for initial payment for their planned export promotion activities for up to 75% of the total approved government funding.

For other information, please refer to:
A new round of enhancement measures to the BUD Fund are summarised below:
Effective Date of Enhancement Measures 20 January 2020
Geographical Coverage
  • Mainland China
  • All economies with which Hong Kong has signed Free Trade Agreements
Cumulative Funding Ceiling per Enterprise
  • Mainland China: HK$2 million
  • FTA Markets:  HK$2 million
Funding Ceiling per Project HK$1 million
Ceiling of Funding Project
  • Mainland China: 20
  • FTA Markets:  20
Initial Payment Increasing the ratio of initial payment from 25% to up to 75% of the total approved government funding.
For other information, please refer to:


1. Cash flow support for trade finance customers with up to HKD10 million quick cash facility
By 30 June 2020, eligible trade finance customers can apply to convert part of their available trade loan facility into an overdraft facility of up to HKD10 million for six months to help them meet daily operational needs such as employee payroll and rental. No documentary proof is required.

2. Repayment flexibility with extension of import trade loan payment period for 30 days
For customers with sound trade finance record, the Bank has preapproved 30-day extension of import trade loans maturing between 10 February and end-April 2020 without any additional fee or penalty interest. No application is required. Customers can also choose to repay their loans at the original maturity date.

3. Extension of principal moratorium to taxi and public light bus loans and property-secured commercial loans
HSBC has been offering a principal repayment moratorium on loans under two Government SME loan schemes since September 2019. To provide relief to more customers, the principal moratorium will now be extended to borrowers of taxi and public light bus loans. By 30 June 2020, eligible customers can apply to defer principal repayment for up to six months. Borrowers of property-secured commercial loans can apply to defer principal repayment for six months, which can be renewed for another sixmonth period, to provide a total extension period of 12 months.

4. Handling fee waiver offer and guarantee fee subsidy for SFGS to be extended to end of December 2020 
At present, new applicants for loan products under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme (SFGS), including the 90 per cent guarantee product, are enjoying a handling fee waiver and a subsidy of guarantee fee. This offer period will now be extended to end of December 2020. Apart from the above immediate relief measures, HSBC will also provide tailored solutions to meet other customer needs, including seasonal trade and receivable finance facilities that help businesses through the current supply chain disruption. Customers with such needs are welcome to contact the Bank.

In addition to commercial customers, the Bank is actively evaluating initiatives that will benefit personal customers. Further announcements will be made shortly.

Source: HSBC