• Kyodo

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Toyota Motor Corp. has asked two mega-banks to set up a credit line of ¥1 trillion ($9.2 billion), company sources said Friday, a move that signals the leading automaker is struggling with rising fundraising costs caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Toyota's financial base remains solid, but the company is aiming to increase cash on hand to prepare for an escalation in the pandemic, which has prompted plant closures worldwide, the sources said.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and MUFG Bank are likely to accept the request, they added.

The commitment line would allow Toyota to borrow up to ¥500 billion from each when needed, the sources said.

Toyota had around ¥5.2 trillion in cash and deposits as of the end of the year, according to its filings.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced Toyota to suspend plant operations in the United States and Europe. It has also seen a sharp fall in sales in China, where the outbreak started.

The world's second-largest auto group by sales will also temporarily halt seven production lines at five of its domestic plants from April 3.

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