China bereitet sich auf Finanzkrise und weltweiten Handelskrieg vor

von Ralf Ostner

Inzwischen häufen sich die Gerüchte, dass infolge des aufziehenden Handelskriegs mit den USA, China einer Finanzkrise entgegensteuern könnte. Zum einen existieren ja ohnehin schon die immensen Schuldenstände bei staatlichen Betrieben, Schattenbanken, Kommunalregierungen seit Jahren, wie auch die schuldenfinanzierten Aktienkäufe bisher nicht angegangen wurden.So berichtet etwa die FAZ unter Berufung auf Bloomberg:

„Ein Bericht eines staatsnahen Instituts, in dem vor einer Finanzkrise gewarnt wird, sorgt in China für Aufsehen. Der Bericht hätte offenbar nicht veröffentlicht werden sollen.

China fürchtet offenbar eine Finanzkrise. Das berichtet die Nachrichtenagentur Bloomberg unter Berufung auf einen offenbar durchgesickerten Bericht eines regierungsnahen Forschungsinstituts. Das wird als Zeichen gesehen, dass Mitglieder der politischen Elite angesichts zunehmender Spannungen im internationalen Handel sich Sorgen um die Entwicklung des Landes machen.

Die Ausfälle von Anleihen, Liquiditätsengpässe und die seit Jahresbeginn fallenden Aktienkurse seien angesichts steigender Zinsen in Amerika besondere Gefahren, so die Nationale Institution für Finanzen und Entwicklung (NIFD).

Kreditfinanzierte Aktienkäufe hätten wieder das Niveau von 2015 erreicht, als die Aktienkurse um ein Drittel fielen. China habe es versäumt, sich mit der Frage von kreditfinanzierten Aktienkäufen zu befassen, so das NIFD.

Eine Panik am chinesischen Finanzmarkt sei derzeit sehr wahrscheinlich. Die Studie war Montag im Internet erschienen und wurde dann wieder zurückgenommen. Es sei in den kommenden Jahren eine Aufgabe höchster Priorität, diese zu verhindern und gegebenenfalls einzudämmen.

In den vergangenen Wochen habe es zunehmend prominente kritische Stimmen gegeben, die Zweifel anmeldeten, ob sich China einen Handelskonflikt werde leisten können, so Bloomberg. Schon jetzt belaste dieser den Kurs der Landeswährung Yuan und den Aktienmarkt. Zudem fürchteten die Anleger, dass die Kampagne der Regierung zum Schuldenabbau das Wirtschaftswachstum bremsen und Zahlungsausfälle bewirken werde.“

http://www.faz.net/aktuell/finanzen/finanzmarkt/china-fuerchtet-eine-finanzkrise-15662710.html

Die regierungsnahe Global Times wiederum bestätigt die Möglichkeit einer Finanzkrise, zumal ausgelöst durch externe Effekte auf den Finanzmarkt, hält diese aber für unwahrscheinlich, versucht gleichzeitig Vertrauen in die chinesische Wirtschaft herzustellen, welche über solide makroökonomische Daten verfüge und Gegenmaßnahmen wie die Feinabstimmung von Risikoprävention anzumahnen:

„Market volatility won’t bring financial crisis in China, but risk prevention, fine-tuning needed

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/3 22:58:40

In a statement posted on the website of China’s central bank, Governor Yi Gang said Tuesday that China has been closely watching recent volatility in the foreign exchange market and will „keep the yuan exchange rate basically stable at a reasonable and balanced level.“

Volatility has returned to Chinese financial markets amid concerns that a tariff spat between China and the US could spiral into a full-blown trade war. Although China’s economic fundamentals are still robust, it’s time for the country to focus more on defusing financial risks to maintain economic calm.

In recent weeks, Asian stock markets posted widespread declines amid rising trade tensions, while currencies weakened dramatically in emerging markets. It is normal to see financial market fluctuations amid a stronger dollar and renewed concerns about external uncertainties. As trade-war tensions mount, preventing financial risks is one of the toughest battles emerging markets have to win to maintain economic stability. In China, there are growing risks for the financial sector, particularly from external sources. The current situation is one of the severest in recent years. China needs to show its determination like it did in 2015, when Chinese stocks experienced a conspicuous correction, to safeguard financial stability.

One very important thing is for China to think about how to boost the confidence of Chinese investors. The current volatility in China’s financial markets reflects that investor confidence has been hammered by trade war fears and remains at a very low level. The government may need to roll out measures to rule out external attacks against Chinese financial sectors and strengthen communication with the market to stabilize expectations. Amid rising trade war fears, effective communication between policymakers and the financial market could help avoid public panic and foster greater social and economic endurance for external attacks.

With an unstable external environment, continuous efforts are needed to check hidden dangers in China’s financial system. Chinese policymakers have recently emphasized deleveraging and reining in market speculation as part of efforts to defuse financial risks.

With a steadily improving macroeconomic situation, the Chinese economy remains resilient to external attacks. The recent volatility in the financial market won’t evolve into a systemic financial crisis, but it reminds us to increase risk awareness and fine-tune economic policies as needed.“

The author is a reporter with the Global Times. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1109396.shtml

Während der Handelskrieg immer weiter eskaliert, hat China trotz allem eine weitere Öffnung seiner Wirtschaft für ausländische Investoren beschlossen, um attraktiver Investitionsmagnet zu bleiben und die Globalisierung voranzutreiben.

„China’s reforms will further boost globalization

By Bi Jing Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/2 23:33:4

In 2018, China celebrates the 40th anniversary of its reform and opening-up. In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the annual Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference in April, President Xi Jinping said China will complete its revision of the negative list on foreign investment in the first half of the year and  implement an across-the-board management system based on pre-establishment national treatment and the negative list.

On Thursday, a new shortened negative list was unveiled by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce, honoring the promise of greater opening-up the Chinese leadership made to global investors. It also once again signifies China’s resolute confidence and determination to continue the push for economic globalization and to work together toward common progress.

The updated negative list is considerably shorter than the previous version, with the number of off-limit items reduced to 48 from 63. The list further narrows the scope of approval on foreign investment as well as points to a range of opening-up measures.

The revision of the list heralds a substantial move toward further opening-up of the Chinese economy. In the financial arena, the country has announced that it will remove the limit on foreign ownership in the banking sector and relax foreign ownership limits to 51 percent in securities, fund management, futures and life insurance firms. By 2021, all limits on foreign shareholding in the financial area will be lifted.

The country has also moved to scrap curbs on foreign investment in the main rail network and power grid system, among other efforts to remove constraints on foreign investment in a variety of sectors.

Overall, the new negative list features several bright spots that are worth a mention.

It marks an elevated level of openness. The list reveals 22 opening-up measures in areas ranging from finance to energy to agriculture, and it indicates a cut of about one-fourth in the number of items on the list that are off-limits for foreign investors. Especially in some keenly watched areas, China has dramatically reduced limits on foreign investment, factoring in the actual level of domestic development of these areas.

For instance, not only has the country announced it will lift restrictions on foreign investors‘ access  to manufacturing areas such as cars, aircraft and ships, but it has also granted wider access in the fields of finance, transport, agriculture and energy to foreign investors. “

The author is an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1109222.shtml

Befürchtungen die Öffnung des Finanzsektors für ausländische Banken und Investoren könne eine ausländische Kontrolle über Chinas Finanzsystem wie im Falle Osteuropas und Lateinamerikas bewirken wird in der regierungsnahen Global Times entgegengetreten und klargestellt, dass die größten Banken unter staatlicher Kontrolle bleiben, während sich die ausländischen Mehrheitsbeteiligungen vor allem auf kleine und mittlere regionale Privatbanken beschränken würden. Eine Neokolonisierung Chinas durch ausländische Mächte sei daher nicht beabsichtigt und auch nicht zu erwarten:

„Reforms won’t put China’s bank sector under foreign control

By Lian Ping Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/1 22:12:3

China is making further headway in pursuing comprehensive opening up. In December 2017, the country’s banking regulatory body announced new opening-up measures. Among the new measures are eased limits on foreign ownership in all Chinese-invested banks and financial asset management firms except privately run banks, and the implementation of stake holding rules that allow for equal treatment for foreign and domestic financial institutions.

The opening up of China’s banking sector at an accelerated pace has been positively received by the market at large. But there are concerns that greater opening-up might result in the domestic banking sector being regarded as a group of foreign entities, considering the experiences of some Latin American and East European countries. I would argue such worries are overblown. In light of the current situation of the banking sector, regulations concerning greater opening-up in the banking sector, and overall guidelines for financial sector development, the assimilation of domestic banks by their foreign peers is not supposed to occur in China in the foreseeable future.

Since the reform and opening-up 40 years ago, especially following the nation’s entry to the WTO in 2001, the banking sector has seen an immense improvement in its overall strength. The Chinese banking sector’s total assets reached $33 trillion in 2016, based on the exchange rate at that point, unseating the EU with total banking assets of $31 trillion as the world’s No.1. US banks booked $16 trillion in total assets in that year, while Japan numbered $7 trillion.

The operational strengths of commercial banks derive from a combination of size and quality. Thus far, leading commercial banks in developed countries may still have an advantage in quality terms, but they no longer maintain an edge as measured by size. But for a country’s banking sector to be controlled by foreign influence, it would be not enough for foreign-invested banks to just have a quality edge. A scale advantage appears to be more important instead. It’s hard to imagine that a controlling stake for a bank can be gained without having a scale advantage. It’s equally unimaginable that foreign institutions without an overwhelming advantage in terms of assets could play a dominant part in other countries‘ banking sector. In fact, what the banking sector in some Latin American and East European countries had experienced was an outcome of foreign investment’s absolute or dominant strength. Certainly, foreign banks‘ advanced operational mindsets and management methods are one of the factors that boost banking industry development. Looking ahead, the possibility of foreign investment holding a controlling stake in some small- and medium-sized commercial banks in China can’t be ruled out. Nonetheless, there is no chance foreign banks, comparatively weak in asset terms, can obtain a controlling stake in large State-owned banks or the whole banking sector in China.

Although the upper limit on foreign ownership in commercial banks has been lifted, the majority of the country’s large- and medium-sized commercial banks are still controlled by State capital. The primary prerequisite for a substantial increase in foreign stake holding in Chinese banks is the ceding of controlling stakes by large State-owned shareholders. By the end of March, the combined stakes of the Ministry of Finance, social security fund, Central Huijin Investment Company and China Securities Finance Corporation (CSFC) in the Agricultural Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China stood at 84.48 percent and 72.68 percent, respectively. The combined stakes of the social security fund, Central Huijin and CSFC in the Bank of China reached 70.56 percent. Although State ownership is likely to gradually decline in the future, there’s little possibility of it falling below 50 percent in the country’s four largest State-owned banks, where the country is expected to absolutely keep a controlling stake. Even in the case of the Bank of Communications, which boasts a relatively diversified ownership, the finance ministry, social security fund and CSFC still hold a combined stake of 44.47 percent, 25 percentage points higher than that held by HSBC, the bank’s next-largest shareholder.

Commercial banks with a national presence and city commercial banks operating regionally often have high levels of State ownership. It’s often the case that investment firms representing local governments or State firms hold a large portion of shares in a multitude of city commercial banks. And local governments generally wouldn’t easily abandon their control over local banks, taking into account fundraising needs for the sake of economic development. In recent years, investment firms led by local governments and various privately owned firms have also flocked into the banking sector. Against such a backdrop, buying into small- and medium-sized banks and particularly gaining a controlling stake is a difficult mission for foreign investment.

Per current regulations, foreign investors are required to get regulatory approval if their ownership in domestic commercial banks hits a certain level. Commercial banks are linked to the country’s economic lifeline and are considered the most pivotal part of the financial sector. Under no circumstances will the country easily give up its controlling stake in large State-owned commercial banks. Meanwhile, the nation will hold its influence over the entire banking sector. If some smaller banks turn out to be controlled by foreign investment, there won’t be an impact on the sector at large. The availability in the market of more small- and medium-sized banks that highlight foreign ownership will help in improving Chinese banks‘ corporate governance mechanisms and operational management. This will allow the banking sector to play a better part in serving the real economy.“

The author is chief economist at the Bank of Communications in Shanghai.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1109070.shtml

Dennoch bereitet man sich in China auf das Schlimmste vor, seien es nun Exporteinbrüche, Finanzkrisen, soziale Proteste und ein Kommentar in der Global Times spricht von der Möglichkeit eines weltweiten Handelskriegs, bei dem die USA sich in die Position des Angreifers isoliert hätten, während China als das erfolgreichste emerging economy  Hauptbetroffener sein werde, aber bei weitem nicht der einzige Betroffene oder gar der allgemeine Feind sei. Dadurch würden auch die internationalen, bisher WTO-regeln folgenden Handelsbeziehungen in ein Hobbesches Jeder gegen jeden erodieren, ein Kampf aller gegen alle transformiert. Washington verfolge dabei das Ziel, die USA in eine Handelsüberschusswirtschaft zu transformieren, seinen ehemaligen Status als Produktionszentrum der Welt wiederzuerringen, die Dominanz von US-Technologie zu sichern, alle Möglichkeiten auszuräumen, jemals wieder herausgefordert werden zu können und seine unvergleichliche militärische Stärke zu bewahren. Wobei Trumps neueste Äußerungen, wonach die USA eventuell aus der WTO austreten könnten, diese Sichtweise weiter untermauert:

„Trade war likely to usher world into chaos

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/3 22:48:15

Is the world on the eve of chaos? It appears so. The global trade war that US President Donald Trump threatens has become increasingly likely. This will change the world’s perception on global order and 21st century international relations, and eventually cause a series of domino effects.

The trade war has its origins and Trump is not the only one behind it. West-led globalization has brought about some unexpected changes, among which the rise of emerging markets such as China and India is prominent. Washington believes that these changes have undermined its absolute advantages and thus wants to unilaterally rewrite global economic rules on a large scale. Trump’s threat of a trade war panders to some Americans‘ dissatisfactions and anxieties.

Washington is obstinate in transforming the world. Trump’s radical diplomatic ideas have recently gained an upper hand in US politics, especially after the president gained effective control over the Republican Party. The tariffs on steel and aluminum imports can be regarded as the White House’s mobilization of the American public for a real trade war.

Washington’s new goals are: turn the US into a trade surplus country, restore its status as a global manufacturing power, ensure the dominance of US technology, exclude any possibility of being challenged, and maintain the unparalleled advantages and strength of its military.

Washington’s plan will strike a heavy blow to the WTO-rules-centered international trade system, disrupt the international division of labor formed after decades of development, and affect global distribution of interests. More perilously, such an adjustment will, to some extent, result in the re-rise of the law of the jungle and bring about various uncertainties and risks.

Counterstrike is major economies‘ first reaction to Washington’s trade war. It’s hard to predict where these moves will lead the world, but Washington will unavoidably pay heavy prices for its attempts to change the whole world to its economic tributary. The EU warned that about $300 billion worth of US exports would face retaliatory measures, the strongest counter-response to Trump’s tariff threat so far.

If the trade war is escalated to such a scale, it will exert irreversible negative influences and may evolve into a worldwide trade war. If this is the case, the world would be locked in a tangled fight, and the most ambitious combatant would most likely become a target by all parties. The US has put itself in such a position.

China should prepare for the worst. As the most successful emerging market, China will have to bear heavier pressure than other countries. We need to accept this fact. Comprehensive strength is a talisman and China has stronger capability to withstand the trade war than other countries.

China stresses principles. It neither escalates tensions nor makes unprincipled concessions. It’s impossible for China to completely shield itself from the trade war, but the country will not be the only victim and will not be a common target. China should put major risks under effective control so as to get through the crisis and reduce its costs in the path of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.“

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1109381.shtml

 

 



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