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Chinese banks to face capital stress after Basel III: former central bank official

(Xinhua)

14:53, August 20, 2011

BEIJING, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese banks will face substantial stress in capital after the implementation of the Basel III accord, Wu Xiaoling, a former deputy governor at the People's Bank of China, the central bank, said Saturday.

Banks of systematic importance will face a financing gap of 400 billion to 500 billion yuan (77.51 billion U.S.dollars) in the next five years, said Wu while delivering an opening speech at the fifth Annual China Bankers Forum.

Chinese banks are currently able to meet the new standard of the Basel III framework, the new global banking requirements agreed by G20 leaders at the end of last year, with core capital adequacy ratio of most banks reaching 9 percent, Wu said.

But a capital gap will grow as China's banks lending scales expand at a relatively rapid pace, she added.

Nearly 20 trillion yuan in new loans were extended over the past two years as part of the government's crisis-combating stimulus package. In July, China's new lending stood at 492.6 billion yuan.

To fill the new capital gap, Chinese banks would need more market financing, or they would seek government financial support that ensures government holding in the banks, Wu said.

China's banking regulator announced earlier this week that it is drafting tougher capital rules for Chinese lenders to meet the Basel III standard.

The new rules will keep the minimum capital adequacy ratio for banks of systematic importance at 11.5 percent, while raising the ratio for banks of non-systematic importance to 10.5 percent.

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