Business / Economy

Foreign debt up 2.5%; risks 'under control'

By CHEN JIA (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-08 08:58

The nation's total foreign debt rose 2.5 percent last year to $895.5 billion as of Dec 31, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said on Tuesday.

Foreign debt increased 17.12 percent in 2013 and 6.04 percent in 2012, according to official data.

Short-term debt, which edged up 0.4 percent in 2014 to $621.1 billion, was equivalent to 17.8 percent of foreign exchange reserves, it said.

Short-term foreign debt accounted for 69.4 percent of the total, while medium-and long-term debt rose 7.5 percent in 2014 to $274.4 billion, accounting for 30.6 percent, the SAFE said.

"Our country's overall foreign debt risks are under control" and the debt ratios were within the internationally accepted safety levels, the SAFE said in a statement on its website.

This is the first time that the SAFE has reported China's foreign debt under the International Monetary Fund's "Special Data Dissemination Standards", which means that the figures reach international requirements and are statistically comparable with those of other countries in the IMF system.

The 2014 foreign debt report also for the first time included the distribution of Special Drawing Rights, a unit of account for the IMF based on a currency basket composed of the dollar, yen, euro and British pound.

The changes in the SAFE's figures were taken to meet the requirements of the IMF, which is considering whether the yuan can become part of the SDR basket. The basket is due for review this year.

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