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China central bank to set up $70 bln tech re-lending programme

BEIJING, April 7 (Reuters) - China's central bank will set up a 500 billion yuan ($70 billion) re-lending programme to support the country's science and technology sectors, according to a statement released on Sunday.

The programme will offer loans via 21 banks to small and midsize technology companies at an interest rate of 1.75%. The one-year loans can be extended twice, for up to a year each time, the statement said.

China's policymakers look to boost liquidity and increase confidence in the world's second-biggest economy amid headwinds from a property crisis and frictions with major trading partners. ($1 = 7.2330 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Andrew Hayley; editing by William Mallard)