BEIJING -- China should inject part of its huge forex reserves into the
national pension fund and part into smaller banks to shore up their financial
position, a scholar with a State Council thinktank has said.
"Considering the huge shortfall of funds in the social security fund and the
massive payments that will be needed in the future, we should consider injecting
an appropriate portion of forex reserves into the pension fund," said Xia Bi,
director of the Institute of Finance under the State Council's Development
China has already poured billions of dollars of forex reserves into its big
state-owned commercial banks. Xia said the same should be done with smaller
A cash injection will improve these banks' capital adequacy ratios and allow
control to be transferred from local governments to the central government,
improving risk control, he said.
China's booming exports have pushed its forex reserves higher and higher. By
the end of June, the country's forex reserves had soared to 941.1 billion U.S.
dollars, the highest in the world.
Managing such huge reserves, which exacerbate pressures for a revaluation of
the Renminbi yuan, has increasingly become a challenge to China's financial
According to Xia, considering the country's floating exchange rate system,
its debts, import and export volumes and the size of foreign investment in
China, forex reserves of 700 billion dollars are appropriate.
"In principle, all additional forex reserves can be put to more positive
use," he said.
He also suggested encouraging foreign-financed enterprises to list on Chinese
stock exchanges, and advising Chinese banks to issue foreign currency loans to
Chinese businesses and organizations should also be encouraged to pay their
external debts in advance and discouraged from raising funds on the overseas
bond market, Xia said.
China should also use its forex reserves to procure equipment and
technologies badly needed in sectors such as education, healthcare, rural
infrastructure, energy-saving, workplace safety, sewage treatment and
environmental protection, he said.
Before Xia, Chinese scholars have suggested other uses for the country's
forex reserves, including buying oil and other mineral resources overseas,
importing sophisticated technologies and equipment, and investing in overseas
companies, particularly big multinationals.