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China’s financial risks ‘broadly contained,’ central governor says

Updated: Apr 22,2018 7:14 AM     Xinhua

WASHINGTON — China’s financial sector has remained sound with risks “broadly contained,” Yi Gang, governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBC), the central bank, said on April 21.

In 2017, the leverage ratio “increased slightly” for China’s non-financial sector and “declined somewhat” for the corporate sector, while the leverage of the financial sector “has been contained,” Yi said in a statement to a meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s policy setting committee.

At the same time, the Chinese government “has been vigorously pushing forward” the reform of the financial regulatory system, with the Financial Stability and Development Committee under the State Council established late last year, Yi told the semi-annual International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting.

“The general direction for the reform is to strengthen integrated supervision and regulation, separate formulation of regulatory policies and rules from implementation, and at the same time enhance the function of the PBC in exercising macroprudential regulation and safeguarding against systemic risks,” he said.

For example, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) was recently created by merging the banking and insurance regulators, and the central bank was assigned responsibilities for formulating major banking and insurance laws and regulations.

“In general, the Chinese economy has solid fundamentals and numerous policy tools available to prevent systemic risks,” Yi said.

The central bank governor also said China will vigorously push forward the reform and opening-up of the financial sector and “significantly relax market access restrictions.”

At the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference in China earlier this month, Yi disclosed a timetable to further open up China’s financial sector, signaling fast progress in implementing the country’s opening-up promises.

In terms of trade frictions around the world, Yi said all parties should commit themselves to preserving “an open and rules-based multilateral trade system,” and use this system to resolve trade disputes while pushing for greater global integration of trade and investment.

“Furthermore, these countries need to continue to implement the financial reforms in a collaborative manner and improve the stability and resilience of the international monetary system,” he said.

According to the governor, China will continue to support multilateralism and an open and rules-based multilateral trade system under the WTO framework, and will strengthen its cooperation with all parties.