Bank of China

CDB reform delay will not affect broader restructuring

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 July, 2007, 12:00am

Planned mainland financial reforms will go ahead as planned, even if the restructuring of China Development Bank (CDB) is delayed, analysts said.

A detailed CDB restructuring proposal was due to have been submitted to the State Council before the end of June, but the research bureau of the People's Bank of China (PBC) delayed it, the Economic Observer reported.

However, overall financial reforms in the mainland will continue, despite the CDB restructuring delay, analysts said.

'The CDB financial reform proposal could be finalised this year but its restructuring might have to wait until next year,' the newspaper said, citing an unnamed source.

It said CDB was still working on the plan, and had even begun considering listing issues, so the reforms could resume before the end of the year.

CDB and People's Bank of China yesterday could not be reached for comment.

CDB and Beijing-based Agricultural Development Bank are both candidates for planned financial sector reforms set out in the National Finance Working Conference in January.

CDB governor Chen Yuan said last week in Hong Kong that the reform proposal was still progressing.

The CDB has been preparing for commercialisation reforms since the National Finance Working Conference outlined its blueprint early this year.

He said the bank, which remained committed to its medium- and long-term core businesses and did not expect the reforms to materially change its primary purpose of fostering China's economic development.

The bank last year posted a 21.3 per cent rise in net profit to 27.6 billion yuan and total assets of 2.3 trillion yuan, with net outstanding loans at 1.99 billion yuan.

The newspaper cited a bank source as saying there was no middle path for CDB reform - it would either continue as a policy bank or be transformed into a commercial bank.

The report also quoted a former official with the PBC's research bureau as saying that policy banks should maintain their role even if they became more commercialised.

The former official said CDB's role after restructuring should be to improve the quality of economic growth and help companies expand overseas, particularly in oil, nature gas and mineral exploration projects.

Nicholas Kwan Ka-ming, regional head of economic reform at Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong), said mainland reforms had been up and running for some time, and slowing down one bank's restructuring would not significantly affect the progress of the sector's overall reform.

Meanwhile, Beijing was still working on a proposal to restructure Agricultural Bank of China, Jiang Dingzhi, a vice-chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, told a Shanghai forum yesterday.

The government had aimed to present the ABC reform draft by the end of June.