June 28 – The accumulated housing fund, which offers low mortgage rates to home buyers in China, will be allowed to invest in the nation's bond market, the China Securities Journal reported. Details will be published in a year. China's accumulated housing fund pooled ¥2.1 trillion as of the end of last year.
June 26 – Investment by Chinese insurers totaled ¥3.95 trillion in the first five months of 2012, including ¥1.99 trillion in bank deposits, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission said. The insurance industry collected ¥708 billion in premiums – ¥436 billion from life and casualty insurance and ¥219 billion from property insurance – between January and May and had ¥6.44 trillion in total assets as of the end of May.
June 26 – China's banking sector had ¥120.01 trillion in assets and ¥112.04 trillion in liabilities as of the end of May, up 19.1% and up 18.8% respectively from a year earlier, the China Banking Regulatory Commission said.
June 25 – China raised the maximum private ownership in insurers to above 20% and encourages the private sector to invest in insurance companies, the insurance regulator said. The move came after the banking and securities regulators announced similar measures to attract private capital.
June 21 – China plans to lower the entry barrier for foreign institutional investors looking to buy publicly traded securities at mainland exchanges, Bloomberg reported. The government will cut the minimum requirement on assets under management from $5 billion to $500 million for companies seeking a license under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor program, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said. The regulator also said it will allow them to invest in the country's interbank bond market.
June 20 – China is allowing more companies to trade bonds and is increasing its scrutiny over issuers as the government seeks to ensure that the expansion of its nascent debt market is not derailed by defaults, Bloomberg reported, citing two people with direct knowledge of the matter. Local governments have been ordered to examine the ability of companies to repay bonds maturing in 2012 and 2013. Chinese companies sold more debt in the first five months of 2012 than in all of 2010 as the government encouraged companies to boost fundraising through sales of equity and bonds in a campaign to wean them off loans from state-owned banks.
June 15 – China's latest move to liberalize interest rates is likely to result in a 6%-8% decline in domestic banks' net profits this year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an executive at China's sixth largest bank by asset value. The central bank has allowed banks to offer rates to depositors equivalent to 110% of the benchmark deposit rate and provide loans at 80% of the benchmark lending rate. The bank also cut the benchmark interest rate for savers and borrowers by 25 basis points last week.
June 14 – China plans to give insurers a broader range with investments, granting them more freedom to pursue higher returns and safeguard against potential risks, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing draft rules circulated by the country's insurance regulator. The move is in line with China's goal of deregulating its rigid financial system and allocating capital and resources more efficiently. The new rules by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission will allow insurers to invest in financial derivatives, including forward contracts, swaps, options and futures, both in the domestic market and overseas. They will also allow insurers to put more funds into equities and real estate.
June 12 – China's new Renminbi-denominated loans totaled ¥793.2 billion in May, up from ¥681.8 billion a month earlier and ¥241.6 billion more than a year earlier, according to central bank figures. Renminbi-denominated deposits increased ¥1.22 trillion last month, ¥114.3 billion more than a year earlier.
June 9 – China's banking sector had ¥105.8 trillion in total assets as of the end of 2011, up 19.1% from the year before, according to a report released by the nation's central bank. The banking sector employed 3.19 million people as of the end of 2011, 111,000 more than a year earlier.
June 7 – China delayed tightening bank capital rules to the beginning of next year, signaling support for loan growth as policy makers seek to arrest an economic slowdown, the Wall Street Journal reported. New draft rules from the China Banking Regulatory Commission aim to set reasonable schedules for banks to meet capital targets in a way that helps "maintain appropriate, credit growth".
June 5 – China has warned its banks of rampant illicit borrowing by steel companies, which the banking regulator said had borrowed excessively to speculate on property and stocks, the Financial Times reported. China's steel plants reported a combined ¥1 billion loss for Q1 2012.
May 27 – China is encouraging private investment in its banking sector as it tries to reinvigorate the slowing economy and help small firms secure funds. Qualified companies can buy into lenders through private stock placements or new share subscriptions, equity transfers or mergers and acquisitions, according to the China Banking Regulatory Commission. Private investment in trust, financial leasing and auto-financing companies are also welcomed by the authority.
May 25 – China's biggest banks may fall short of loan targets for the first time in at least seven years as an economic slowdown crimps demand for credit, Bloomberg reported, citing three bank officials with knowledge of the matter. A decline in lending in April and May means it is likely the banks' total new loans for 2012 will be ¥7 trillion, less than an estimated government goal of ¥8 trillion to ¥8.5 trillion, said one of the unnamed officials. Banks are relying on small and midsized companies for loan growth after demand from the biggest state-owned borrowers dropped, the people said.
May 24 – Premium incomes in China amounted to ¥592.21 billion in the first four months of the year, including ¥417.67 billion from life and casualty insurance and ¥174.54 billion from property insurance, according to the China Insurance Regulatory Commission. No comparison was made to historic data.
May 23 – China's two stock exchanges moved to allow small firms to sell bonds via private placement, opening another fundraising avenue for the country's cash-strapped small-business sector, the Wall Street Journal reported. Over the past year, small, private businesses in China have been facing a credit squeeze, caught between previous tight monetary policies and falling global demand for their products.
May 23 – China's biggest four state-backed banks extended just ¥34 billion in loans in the first three weeks of May, when deposits with them shrank ¥270 billion, a person with knowledge of the issue told the 21st Century Business Herald. Bank loans across the nation fell from over ¥1 trillion in March to ¥681 billion in April, according to central bank figures.
May 23 – The value of transactions paid by credit cards in China rose 33.2% year on year and 7.1% quarter on quarter to ¥2.79 trillion in Q1 2012, a central bank report has found. There were 3.1 billion bank cards in circulation in the country as of the end of March, up 5.2% from a quarter earlier and up 21.5% from a year earlier, the report added.
May 18 – China's commercial lenders reported a combined ¥326 billion in gross profits in Q1 2012, up 23.7% from the same period a year ago, the banking regulator said. Nonperforming loans increased from ¥427.9 billion at the end of last year to ¥438.3 billion as of the end of March, marking the second straight quarter of increase. However, nonperforming loan ratios averaged a tenth percentage point lower at 0.9% in Q1 compared to the previous quarter. Capital adequacy ratios remained unchanged at 12.7% recorded at the end of last year.
$1 = ¥6.32