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UPDATE 1-China's Ant-backed MYBank plans to expand rural reach

(Adds executive’s quote)

BEIJING, April 30 (Reuters) - MYBank, the online bank backed by China’s Ant Group, said on Friday it aimed to serve 2,000 rural Chinese counties by 2025, more than doubling the current number of rural districts covered. MYBank also said it had served more than 35 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the end of 2020, a 70% increase year on year.

Hangzhou-based MYBank, which was founded in 2015, said it kept a non-performing loan ratio at 1.52%, compared to the average of 2.99% ratio in China for SME loans as of last June.

“We expect rural finance to play a significant role in advancing financial inclusion, and will further our efforts to make rural finance more accessible with our financial institution partners,” said Xiaolong Jin, president of MYbank in a statement.

Reporting by Yingzhi Yang and Tony Munore in Beijing; editing by Edmund Blair and Jason Neely

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