The Shanghai Interbank Offer Rate ended September at 1.99%, up 19 basis points from August. Despite central bank policy, nominal rates have continued to rise over the last five months, although this September was still 57 basis points below the trailing average for September of 2.56%.
The Wenzhou Comprehensive Index ended September at 19.20%, down one basis point from August. September's rate was 71 basis points tlower than the trailing average for Septembers.
According to Reuters, the situation for smaller enterprises is only getting worse:
The central bank has cut official lending rates five times since November by a total of 1.4 percentage points to 4.6 percent. But instead of falling, lending rates to SMEs have risen by 2 percentage points as willing lenders become scarce.
The Wenzhou index, which tracks private lending, shows the rate for 1 year or more has risen to 18 percent from around 16 percent in November. In April, rates were as high as 24 percent.
The state-dominated banking sector has become more selective in issuing loans in general, as non-performing loans increase in the economic slowdown. China's big-four banks all reported a rise in non-performing loans in the latest quarter.
China's economy is heading for its weakest growth in 25 years, and a recent run of poor data suggests it is struggling to meet its 7 percent target for 2015.
So only the brave are stepping in to lend to its most vulnerable firms - small, medium and micro businesses. That is reflected in central bank figures showing that while overall lending in China has risen, new loans to small businesses fell in the first half of the calendar year compared with the same period in 2014.