Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Martin Hennecke

Exporters scurry to beat tariffs
China reported much stronger-than-expected exports for October as shippers rushed goods to the United States, its biggest trading partner, racing to beat higher tariff rates due to kick in at the start of next year.

Meanwhile, Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said yesterday that targets will be set for banks on loans provided to private companies in a bid to ease financing pressure.

At least a third of big banks' new loans to companies should be to privately owned firms, Guo said.

At least two-thirds of small and medium-sized banks' new loans to companies should be to private businesses, and no less than 50 percent of new loans by the banking sector should be to private firms after three years, he said.

In addition, new banks loans in China fell in October, due to a seasonal lull but were still well ahead of historical trends as policymakers urge lenders to keep cash-starved firms afloat as the economy slows, a poll showed.

Banks likely extended 862 billion yuan (HK$973 billion) in net new yuan loans in October, a traditionally weaker month due to long holidays, compared with the 1.38 trillion yuan increase in September, it would mark the biggest October gain since started compiling the data in 1990.

In other news, China's yuan inched lower against the dollar yesterday, after the greenback found support following the US midterm elections, though analysts say the prospect of easing trade tensions could take some pressure off the currency.

Prior to market opening, the People's Bank of China set the midpoint rate at 6.9163 per dollar, the lowest since November 2.

The onshore yuan rose 120 basis points to 6.932 while offshore yuan increased 73 basis points to 6.9253 last night.

Previous news : Home prices set for slight gains


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