Business / Markets

Regulator calls for tougher market reform

By Wang Xiaotian (China Daily) Updated: 2012-11-30 09:55

China's financial market reforms should be supported by overall reforms that provide complementary policies, instead of relying solely on moves such as altering interest rates or currency exchange rates, according to a senior banking regulator on Thursday.

Cai Esheng, vice-chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission, said an overhaul that contains supporting policies from other economic and social aspects should be emphasized while promoting market-oriented financial reform.

"And each side should be clear about their responsibilities - currently it seems there is a 'dislocation' in terms of the overall reform," he said at a forum in Beijing, sponsored by the financial magazine, Caijing.

Regulator calls for tougher market reform

Cai said a market exit mechanism for financial institutions is crucial for any further progress to be made to deepen the reforms.

"But without complementary policies in other areas, such as social management, and employment security, the effects of establishing regulations would be much reduced."

In a financial five-year development plan released in September, the government promised to establish procedures that will allow financial institutions to exit the Chinese market.

It called for the establishment of a deposit insurance system and the adoption of bankruptcy law for financial institutions, but didn't specify when the plans will be put into effect.

China has been vowing to further liberalize interest rates and the exchange rate of its currency, the yuan, for at least a decade, said Cai, but without reform of other economic and social policies, they cannot be realized.

Ma Jun, chief economist at Deutsche Bank AG in China, said to free interest rates, the first step should be to set up a deposit insurance system, then to loosen the upper limits for deposit rates.

"I hope to see both upper limits for deposit rates and lower limits for lending rates removed in two or three years," he said, adding that bank rates could later peg to a seven-day policy rate.

President Hu Jintao said earlier this month in his report to the 18th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China that China will continue to promote market-oriented reform of interest rates, as well as the exchange rate of the yuan, and gradually realize the currency's convertibility under the capital account.

Peng Wensheng, chief economist and managing director of China International Capital Corp Ltd, said the recent appreciation of the yuan shows the central bank's currency policy has changed, with more flexibility and less intervention in the market.

"Actually there is no big flood of capital inflows."

But Pang added that increasing, policy flexibility doesn't necessarily indicate there is progress for exchange rate reform."There would be no major breakthrough as long as there are limited market players and a market not 'deep' enough, in which short-term capital flows could lead to greater fluctuations," he said. "The most substantial change should be opening the capital account and allowing various participants to enter the market."

He said the yuan's strong appreciation will not be sustained next year, as long as there are no major capital inflows.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks