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Finance officials talk about policies and regulations

China’s finance sector is committed to supporting the country’s growth and stabilizing the stock markets. This is according to regulators in a series of heavy weight pressers on March 12. They covered a number of topics on monetary policy and market regulation.

Chinese finance regulators have a busy Saturday on March 12. The central bank officials said they would keep the monetary policy prudent, but lean to easing when necessary.

“The official statement from the State Council emphasized flexibility and appropriateness. And I also said at a press conference last month that the prudent monetary policy has an easing bias, this fits the actual situation since the second half of 2015 until now,”

“Meanwhile we also emphasize that monetary policy always needs flexibility, which needs research and judgment on economic situation. We would adjust the policy constantly according to various situations,” said Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of People’s Bank of China.

The governor also said the bank would not promote China’s exports by depreciating the currency. This is because the country’s share in global export market rose last year, and Chinese products are still relatively competitive.

Deputy Governor Yi Gang said the drop in the country’s foreign reserves is because more foreign currency is in the public’s hands now.

“Most of the outflow is purchased by enterprises, banks and citizens through the market. Last year, the dollar deposits held by enterprises and citizens inside the country increased by tens of billions of dollars.

“Our financial organizations also increased their US dollar holdings to cope with uncertainty. Last year these organizations added $100 billion holdings. And our enterprises paid much attention to optimizing their balance sheets, and repaid $100 billion and cut some of the loans,” said Yi.

Later in the day, the country’s State-owned enterprise regulator also gave out the prescription of reform - destocking unnecessary production in coal, steel, and promoting more promising sectors in aerospace, nuclear, high-speed rails and so on.

The banking sector also needs reform, to answer to the pressure from an economic slowdown.

“We would further upgrade the banking industry’s service quality and efficiency while serving the real economy. For example, improving the difficult financing situation for small and micro businesses, boosting financial innovation which supports the development of real economy, innovating a model to provide financial service for technology firms, and so on,” said Shang Fulin, chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission.

Shang said other measures include asset securitization, and inclusive financing, so the reform would benefit common people. He also stressed the importance of guarding against systemic risks.

During the whole day’s meeting, regulators reiterated their confidence in helping the country deliver its growth target, but their job remains tough, as the finance industry faces irregularity from time to time and, when panic appears, it would take both experience and speed to appease the sentiment.