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Chinese banks report forex settlement surplus in April

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-23 10:15
A bank staff counts RMB and US dollar notes in a bank in Nantong, Jiangsu province on Aug 6, 2019. [Photo/Sipa]

BEIJING - China's commercial banks saw a net forex settlement surplus of 104.7 billion yuan ($14.8 billion) in April, the country's forex regulator said on Friday.

Forex purchases by banks stood at 1.11 trillion yuan in April, while sales reached 1 trillion yuan, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange showed.

In particular, the amount of forex settlement and sales by banks for customers stood at 974.4 billion yuan and 889.5 billion yuan respectively, with a settlement surplus of 84.9 billion yuan.

The amount of foreign exchange settlement and sales for banks themselves stood at 137.1 billion yuan and 117.3 billion yuan respectively, with a settlement surplus of 19.8 billion yuan.

In the first four months, commercial banks saw a net forex settlement surplus of 377.7 billion yuan.

The forex market is basically balanced in supply and demand, and the size of forex reserves is stable on the whole, said Wang Chunying, SAFE spokesperson and chief economist.

The size of foreign exchange reserves increased steadily in China, as the forex reserves expanded to $3.09 trillion at the end of April. This represents an increase of $30.8 billion from that at the end of March, she said.

In April, the willingness of market entities to settle forex remained stable, while their appetite to purchase forex declined, she said.

The selling rate to measure the willingness to purchase forex, or the ratio of forex purchased by customers from banks to their forex expenditure, stood at 61 percent in April, down 2 percentage points from the first quarter.

Major channels showed a net inflow of cross-border funds. In April, the surplus of cross-border payments and receipts in goods traded was $13.5 billion, up 76 percent year-on-year.

Cross-border capital under securities investments resumed inflows in April, with overseas investors increasing their holdings of domestic bonds and listed stocks by $18.9 billion.

As China's forex market is growing more mature, the market is expected to remain stable with strong resilience and stability despite the epidemic impact, Wang said.

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