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Financial Reforms Hinge on Bank Reforms

The emphasis of China's financial reform will be laid on deepening reforms of the four commercial banks exclusively invested by the state, Dai Xianglong, governor of the People's Bank of China, said Sunday.

China plans to turn the four banks into large modern commercial banks which will be competitive in the international financial market in the coming five years or more, the central bank governor said while addressing the 2001 annual meeting of China Development Forum.

Beginning this year, all-round reforms will be carried, step by step, in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agriculture Bank of China, and Bank of Communications, he said.

Meanwhile, China will continue to standardize and develop joint-stock commercial banks, encouraging them to annex and restructure according the market principle to form mid-sized and small investment firms, he said, adding that this will help develop mid-sized and small enterprises.

Loans for the development of agriculture will be increased by the big margin to help increase the income of farmers, Dai said.

In addition, more foreign banks will be allowed to operate in China, he said.

According to the central bank governor, the total amount of the country's private bank savings, in both Chinese and foreign currencies, has surpassed seven trillion yuan (about US$840 billion), equivalent to 80 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

It is necessary to standardize the operation and further develop all kinds of investment banks and set up various investment foundations in order to further develop the capital market, he stressed.

(Xinhua 03/25/2001)

Streamlining Bank Card System
Deposits up as Income Growth Slows
Agricultural Bank Sees Sharp Rise in Housing Loans
No Change in State Policy for Non-State-Owned Banks
No Revision Planned for the Commercial Bank Law
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