Business / Industries

Experts eye regulated growth of web-based financial products in China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-03-20 15:40

ROME - New web-based financial products in China pose no big threats to the general economy, and it was right the government prudently guide the healthy implementation of economic reform, according to Italian experts.

In a few months, the money market fund Yu'E Bao, created by e-commerce giant Alibaba, has grown to a global leader, with 80 million investors and aggregate deposits estimated at around 500 billion yuan ($81 billion).

"The online financial boom has created some headaches to the Chinese government which is grappling with a slowdown in economic growth and with the need to widen the yuan's daily trading band," General Secretary of Assiom Forex, the financial markets association in Italy, Claudia Segre said on Tuesday.

Experts eye regulated growth of web-based financial products in China 
Experts eye regulated growth of web-based financial products in China 
Experts eye regulated growth of web-based financial products in China
According to Segre, "gradual steps" in the management of the new products were necessary in order to avoid "systemic shakes" and any adverse effect in the process of deepening economic reform.

China has to avoid "the rise of phenomena out of control during the extremely delicate process of yuan's internationalization, which probably will be completed by 2020 allowing China to overtake the United States," she explained to Xinhua.

Loretta Napoleoni, a renowned economist and author with international work experience, said she was not surprised about Yu'E Bao notable growth.

"The web-based systems are extremely developed in China, and money market funds are seen as better tools to make some profits compared to banks. Also, Chinese have a propensity for risk and live in a country that offers big opportunities, which is lacking in Western economies," she explained to Xinhua.

Napoleoni did not see real threats to the stability of China's economy in the growth of web-based financial products such as Yu'E Bao. "Chinese savers have traditionally made use of an 'informal banking system', for example lending money to each other, and this is a natural continuation," she noted.

The economist added that the amount of aggregate deposits on Yu'E Bao was "still little thing compared to the size and huge potential of the Chinese economy." Furthermore, she also suggested, there could be significant amounts of foreign deposits on the money market fund.

Of course, she highlighted, there were some risks in the Chinese economy, "such as hyperinflation or a massive financial bubble, which are things that still happen regularly in Western countries."

For this reason, strengthening financial regulation to avoid any adverse effect on the general economy was positive, she pointed out.

"I think that China is doing the right thing. What the government is trying to do is modernizing the country without putting it through the shocks that other developing economies had. China has made in 30 years what we have done in 300," Napoleoni said.

"The government is working to liberalize the economic system while maintaining its Chinese characteristics and avoiding the negative consequences that are frequent when there is no control," Napoleoni concluded.

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