In January Chinese banks bought a net of 3.4 billion U.S. dollars in foreign exchange from customers via OTC transactions. [File photo]
Chinese people sold more foreign currencies than they bought through Chinese banks in January, ending a two-month period of net purchase and generating a 19.4-billion-U.S.-dollar forex surplus in banks for the month, the country's foreign exchange regulator said Tuesday.
Chinese institutional and individual clients exchanged 123.6 billion U.S. dollars in foreign currencies for Renminbi in January, and bought 104.2 billion U.S. dollars in foreign exchanges from banks, according to a statement by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) on its website.
Compared with deficits in the last two consecutive months, banks' January forex surplus came as a result of the tradition that Chinese people and companies tend to settle their foreign currency assets during the first month of the year.
In January, Chinese banks also bought a net of 3.4 billion U.S. dollars in foreign exchange from customers via over-the-counter transactions.
Meanwhile, overseas business-related proceeds of China's domestic institutional and individual clients via banks totaled 183.2 billion U.S. dollars, and 156.7 billion U.S. dollars was paid to overseas businesses, the SAFE data showed.
Foreign exchange surpluses, which make up part of China's foreign exchange reserve along with current account surpluses and foreign direct investment inflow, do not include banks' own foreign exchange transactions or interbank transactions, according to SAFE.