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China in good position to defuse financial risks: Premier Li

Updated: Mar 16,2016 10:57 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China is in a good position to defuse financial risks, Premier Li Keqiang said on March 16.

Last year, the non-performing loan ratios of some financial institutions increased in China because of the difficulties in some enterprises and some sectors, Premier Li said at a press conference following the conclusion of the annual parliamentary session.

But capital adequacy ratio of China’s commercial banks exceeded 13 percent, below the international warning line, and banks’ provision coverage ratio was above 180 percent, higher than the level of 150 percent set by the government, Premier Li added.

The fairly high corporate debt ratio is no new problem in the country, Premier Li said, as Chinese companies still raise capital mostly indirectly.

But “we also have other market-based tools at our disposal to help bring down corporate debt ratio,” the Premier said.

China has a high savings rate, and the government is determined to press ahead with building a multi-layered capital market, he said.

“We can also use such market-oriented format as debt equity swap to help bring down corporate leverage ratio,” the Premier said.

Due to multiple factors, there were some unusual fluctuations on the stock market last year, according to Premier Li.

“Relevant government departments took coordinated measures to stabilize the market and prevent systemic financial risks,” Premier Li said. “Our measures achieved the desired purpose.”

China needs to reform its financial regulation system, including having whole coverage of financial regulation, as the country sees an increase of financial innovation products, Premier Li said, noting that there should be enhanced and authoritative coordination in the regulation.

But “it will be a process to put in place a full-fledged financial regulatory regime,” he added.