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January 20, 2017

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Banks’ forex settlement deficit expands

CHINA’S deficit in its foreign exchange settlement expanded in December, official data showed yesterday.

Chinese lenders bought US$128 billion worth of foreign currencies and sold US$174.3 billion, giving a deficit of US$46.3 billion in December, up from the November deficit of US$33.4 billion, State Administration of Foreign Exchange data showed.

The Chinese banks’ forex settlement deficit hit US$337.7 billion in 2016, the data showed.

On a quarterly basis, the banks’ forex settlement deficit fell from US$124.8 billion in the first quarter to US$49 billion in the second, US$69.6 billion in the third and US$94.3 billion in the fourth, according to the data.

“The figures show that the pressure of cross-border capital outflows has eased significantly compared with the start of 2016,” said SAFE spokeswoman Wang Chunying.

She said domestic enterprises had been less interested in purchasing forex in 2016 compared with the previous year because their financing needs increased.

Foreign-currency deposits became more popular among domestic enterprises and individuals in 2016, the data showed.


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