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Chinese banks’ net external liabilities shrink at 2018 end

Updated: Apr 1,2019 3:40 PM

The net external liabilities of China’s banking sector stood at $181.2 billion at the end of 2018, shrinking from one year earlier, according to data from the forex regulator.

The figure was $281.2 billion at the end of 2017, according to data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

In breakdown, the country’s banks reported combined external financial assets of $1.12 trillion at the end of last year, while their external liabilities totaled $1.3 trillion.

By December, $831.5 billion of external financial assets of Chinese banks were deposits and loans, while $136.5 billion were bond investments and $148.5 billion were other assets, including equities.

SAFE started publishing external financial assets and liabilities banking data for the first time in March 2016.

The data reflects foreign-related business operations in the banking industry as well as the global allocation of the sector’s assets and liabilities, which are important for improving statistical transparency and monitoring cross-border capital flows.