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China reports rising external liabilities

Updated: Jun 28,2019 7:11 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China reported external liabilities climbing 4.6 percent by the end of March from the end of 2018, the forex regulator said on June 27.

The volume came in at $5.43 trillion, according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

In breakdown, foreign direct investment rose by 3.7 percent, or $101.2 billion from 2018, while Chinese securities owned by foreign investors jumped by 14.5 percent, or $159.3 billion during the same period.

By March, China’s external financial assets stood at $7.38 trillion, up 0.8 percent from last year, with outbound direct investment and securities investment assets climbing 1.5 percent and 9.6 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, China’s external net assets fell 8.4 percent from 2018 to $1.95 trillion by March.

SAFE spokesperson Wang Chunying attributed the fall to the surge of share prices in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong stock markets in the first quarter (Q1), which led to an increase in liabilities of securities investment.

Overall, the scale of China’s reserve assets continued to rank first in the world with steady growth in various kinds of foreign investment, Wang said.

SAFE on June 27 also adjusted the current account surplus data in Q1 from $58.6 to $49 billion. Goods trade surplus in Q1 was also slightly adjusted from $94.5 billion to $94.7 billion.