China regulators deliver rare joint pep talk for worried markets

Workers pull a line from a cargo ship as it prepares to berth at a port in Qingdao in ’s eastern Shandong province. – AFP photo

SHANGHAI: Three of China’s top financial officials launched a coordinated attempt to shore up confidence in the country’s stock markets and on Friday in an unusual expression of top-level concern over what one of them called ‘abnormal’ falls.

The timing of the rare intervention by the heads of the , securities commission and regulator – in interviews with media – comes amid a bruising stock downturn and were released ahead of data showing slowing economic growth.

“Momentum for the economy to maintain steady growth has increased,” People’s Bank of China governor Yi Gang was quoted saying.

“Overall, current valuations are at historically low levels, which is in contrast with China’s stable and improving economic fundamentals.”

Markets are being pummelled by concerns over the economy, the escalating trade standoff with the United States and an official crackdown on excess debt leveraging in the financial system.

The government is becoming increasingly worried about the losses, which have made the country’s markets the world’s worst-performing in 2018, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down around 30 per cent from its peak and sitting at four-year lows.

The comments by Yi as well as China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Liu Shiyu and Banking and Regulatory Commission chief Guo Shuqing are the most concerted effort yet in a series of recent top-level statements targeting concern over the decline and the economy.

They were aimed at easing fears China was swerving away from pledges of financial reform, and that private enterprises may suffer from a strengthening state hand on the economy. — AFP

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Source: Borneo Post Online

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