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Financial-sector risks top Xi fears

Business | Jul 17, 2017
President Xi Jinping said the central bank will play a stronger role in defending against risks, calling for more work on safeguarding the financial system and modernizing its regulatory framework.

China will set up a commission under the State Council to oversee financial stability and development, Xi said during the twice-a-decade National Financial Work Conference held on Friday and Saturday, the media reported without defining the panel's relationship with the central bank. Financial security is part of national security, and the financial sector should better serve the econQomy, Xi said.

Xi said prudent monetary policy, a goal announced in December, should be firmly implemented. The People's Bank of China should also take a stronger macro-prudential policy role, he added.

He also called for greater yuan exchange-rate reform, an improved foreign-exchange market system, and steady progress in yuan internationalization. Xi is ramping up efforts to ensure stability ahead of a twice-a-decade leadership transition this fall at the 19th Communist Party congress. He has elevated curbing risk in the US$40 trillion (HK$312 trillion) financial industry to a new level with "strategic importance" amid increasingly intertwined business between China's banks, brokerages, asset managers and insurers.

Xi also called for greater accountability for regulators, saying it would be a "dereliction of duty" if they fail to spot and dispose of risks in a timely manner, and stressed that coordination of financial regulation should be improved.

Premier Li Keqiang, meanwhile, called for moderate credit growth and keeping liquidity "basically stable."

He backed "professional, consolidated, penetrating" regulation of all financial businesses to reduce risks.

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