Business / Markets

Market turmoil to delay financial liberalization in China: DBS

By Zheng Yangpeng ( Updated: 2015-07-10 16:17

The recent turmoil in the stock market is likely to hold off China's financial liberalization pace by six months to a year, Piyush Gupta, the CEO of DBS Group Holdings, said.

"A month ago I was holding the view that China's financial liberalization would surprise the world. Governor Zhou Xiaochuan in an April statement was very clear of their willingness to open up and liberalize some capital account controls… Because of the turbulence, that might change," Gupta, the head of Southeast Asia's largest bank, told reporters in a briefing.

The upheaval in the equity market and the government's unprecedented series of measures in recent days to halt a sell-off has put the outside world grappling to understand its ramification, particularly to the pace of China's financial reform.

Gupta said it should be noted that it is not the foreign flow that caused the plunge, but margin financing.

"We had done a survey that showed people were expecting the liberalization to be realized from three months all the way to five months. I think it will be delayed by six to 12 months. But that (hold off) doesn't have to be a long-term future."

He expects the second half of the year for Asian economy to be a bumpy path, while the largest uncertainty comes from China. The outside world is watching and guessing what the aftermath of the crisis, what does it means for the pace of China's financial liberalization, what does it mean for the Hong Kong-Shanghai stock connect program and the possible Hong Kong-Shenhen linkage, he said.

Commenting on whether the crisis will affect DBS's strategy in China, he said it depends on "you are betting on the market on a short or long-term view", and DBS is taking a long-term view on China.

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