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Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 22:53
China says bad loan risk under control, stocks undervalued
By Xinhua
Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 22:53 By Xinhua

BEIJING - China's non-performing loans in the banking industry have increased due to impacts from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but the risks are under control, the country's banking regulator said Tuesday.

China has rolled out a string of measures to ease corporate burden, including tax and fee cuts as well as targeted monetary measures

China's bad loans have steadily climbed amid the outbreak and will continue to rise in the coming months, said Xiao Yuanqi, chief risk officer of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, adding that the risks are controllable.

Xiao said the impacts from COVID-19 are rather short-lived, as cash flows of companies will return to normal as business activities resume.

READ MORE: State lenders keep bad debts under control

China has rolled out a string of measures to ease corporate burden, including tax and fee cuts as well as targeted monetary measures, all of which will help increase market liquidity and support companies to tide over the difficult period, Xiao said.

Xiao also said that Chinese stocks are global safe haven asset in the short-term and very good value investments in the long-term, with the price-earning ratio at a low level.

The recent routs in the global financial market will inevitably affect China's domestic market, but the impacts are short-lived and can be hedged against, Xiao said.

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Major stock indices worldwide nosedived in recent days, pressured by concerns over growth and impacts from the coronavirus outbreak.

Wall Street's major averages finished sharply lower on Monday even after the Federal Reserve's aggressive stimulus measures, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumping 12.93 percent, the biggest drop since the Black Monday crash on Oct. 19, 1987.

In contrast, Chinese stocks have remained relatively calm, with the ChiNext Index, the country's NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, gaining 0.36 percent Tuesday and the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipping only 0.34 percent.

China's macro-policy space is relatively large, with ample room for fiscal and monetary adjustments, Xiao said, adding that investors should stay rational and remain confident in China's financial market. 

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