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China to put more emphasis on financial risk prevention in 2017

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-16 17:18

BEIJING - China will put more emphasis on preventing and controlling financial risk in 2017, said a statement issued Friday after the Central Economic Work Conference.

Seeing mounting financial risk as one of the prominent problems in the economy, the government will deal with a number of issues next year, said the statement.

The government will step up efforts to prevent and control asset bubbles and improve regulation to ensure there will be no systemic financial risk.

The three-day annual conference, held in Beijing from Wednesday to Friday, saw Chinese leaders reviewing economic performance in the past year and mapping out plans for the next.

The tone-setting meeting has highlighted stability as the basic tone for next year and risk prevention as a priority.

The government should innovate and improve macro-control policies to make them more coordinated, precise and effective; ensure the economy operates within a reasonable range; and enhance risk prevention in key areas.

While struggling to stabilize economic growth, authorities are taking more note of financial risk associated with excess leverage and asset price bubbles, especially in the property market.

Attendees at the conference made lowering the leverage ratio of enterprises the top priority in deleveraging. Meanwhile, local governments should be better regulated when raising their debt.

They also called for in-depth studies and active yet prudent promotion of reform in financial regulation and a multi-layered capital market.

For the real estate sector, the government will establish a market-oriented long-term mechanism to prevent real estate bubbles and erratic fluctuations.

Wang Yiming, deputy director of the State Council development research center, told Xinhua in an earlier interview that low investment returns in the real economy and easy credit have not only triggered excessive rises in property prices in major cities, but also attracted too much money into the real estate sector.

The over-reliance on credit to support growth has pushed up leverage ratios in the banking system, he added.

The government should move to prevent these risks from accumulating and spreading while pushing forward structural reform, said Wang.

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