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China's forex supply, demand most balanced in three years: Official

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-21 09:32

BEIJING — China's forex regulator said Thursday that the country was seeing its most balanced forex market supply and demand in three years due to improving economies at home and abroad as well as an intensified crackdown on irregularities.

The improvement in the domestic economy and business expectations helped stabilize China's cross-border capital flows in the first half of 2017, Wang Chunying, a spokesperson for the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, told a press conference.

Commercial banks bought 999.5 billion yuan (about $148.1 billion) worth of foreign currency in June, and sold 1.14 trillion yuan, resulting in a net forex settlement deficit of 142.5 billion yuan, according to the administration. The deficit for the first half of the year fell 46 percent year-on-year to $93.8 billion.

Wang expects the cross-border capital flows to stay stable in the future.

She said the impact of the US Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes on China's cross-border capital flows had diminished, expecting the risks of large-scale capital outflows from China to notably ease.

The government will continue to support authentic and rational outbound investment by Chinese businesses but will keep a close eye on overseas investment in sectors such as real estate, entertainment and athletic clubs, Wang said.

China will further improve its management system to facilitate cross-border investment and fund-raising, while guarding against risks, she said.

With China's outstanding external debt-to-GDP ratio of 13 percent at the end of 2016, well below the international warning line of 20 percent, the risks of China's external debts remained controllable, Wang said.

China has seen steady increases in the volume of its external debts for four consecutive quarters, with the total reaching $1.44 trillion at the end of March, up 1.2 percent from the end of 2016.

The official said that China's foreign exchange reserves were expected to remain stable as cross-border capital flows as well as the forex market supply and demand would become more balanced, following the country's improving economic development and financial market opening-up.

China's economy expanded 6.9 percent in the first half of the year.

"There is no doubt that the economy will reach the full-year growth target and continue to run within a reasonable range," Wang said.

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