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As part of its forthcoming economic stimulus package, the government may expand limits on the amount of capital that retailers and wholesalers can have when borrowing money from governmental financial institutions, trade chief Mitsuo Horiuchi said April 14.

The move is meant to improve capital liquidity among companies still caught in the ongoing credit crunch, Horiuchi told a news conference.

The government may raise the upper limit on capital to 50 million yen for both kinds of firms, if they are eligible for such loans. The current capital limits are set at 10 million yen for retailers and 30 million yen for wholesalers.

As a result, some 29,000 small and midsize companies with capital less than 100 million yen have not been able to receive government loans, Horiuchi said. The change, if realized, would make some 19,000 eligible for loans from such governmental financial institutions as Small Business Finance Corp., he said.

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