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Chinese banks report forex settlement surplus in H1

BEIJING, July 17 (Xinhua) — China’s commercial banks saw a net forex settlement surplus of 553.1 billion yuan (about 78.6 billion U.S. dollars) in the first half this year (H1), the country’s forex regulator said Friday.

Forex purchases by banks stood at 6.7 trillion yuan from January to June, while sales came in at 6.15 trillion yuan, data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) showed.

The amount of forex settlement and sales by banks for customers stood at 5.7 trillion yuan and 5.35 trillion yuan, respectively, with a settlement surplus of 349.4 billion yuan.

In June alone, commercial banks saw a net forex settlement surplus of 6 billion yuan.

The country’s cross-border capital flows are generally stable, and the forex market is basically balanced in supply and demand in the first half, said Wang Chunying, deputy director and spokesperson of SAFE.

In H1, the willingness of enterprises to raise domestic and cross-border forex financing rose steadily, while their willingness to purchase forex declined, according to Wang.

The selling rate to measure the willingness to purchase forex, or the ratio of forex purchased by customers from banks to their forex expenditure, stood at 63 percent in H1, down 3.5 percentage points year on year.

The changes in the foreign exchange market in H1 reflected the positive results achieved in COVID-19 prevention and control as well as work resumption, Wang said.

Meanwhile, China’s further opening-up and the optimizing of the business environment laid a solid foundation in attracting foreign investment, and the increased flexibility of the RMB exchange rate is conducive to the overall stability of market expectations, she said.

Wang added that despite uncertainties amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the global context, cross-border capital flows are still expected to remain stable in the next half of this year. Enditem

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