China tightens rules on capital inflows

BEIJING Mon May 6, 2013 2:44am BST

A trailer truck drives past containers at a port in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, April 10, 2013. REUTERS/William Hong

A trailer truck drives past containers at a port in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, April 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/William Hong

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will increase scrutiny on importers and exporters who channel in money disguised as trade bills, the top foreign exchange regulator said, after the Chinese yuan hit a record high last week.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange said in a statement it would hand down a risk warning notice 10 days after it finds any company's goods and capital flows do not match or it is channelling big amounts of money into China.

Such companies will then be placed on the SAFE's B list, which is for companies that are more closely monitored, for three consecutive months and will only be moved back on the A list if all the relevant indicators return to the normal range, the regulator said in the statement published late on Sunday.

The measures, which SAFE said were aimed at strengthening management of capital inflows, came after the yuan hit a record high last Tuesday following a steady rise since April.

Chinese exporters and importers often bring capital into or out of the country disguised under their trade accounts, and SAFE has launched regular campaigns against the practice.

Chinese export data in recent months has pointed to a gradual revival in external demand, but some analysts suspect local exporters may have overstated their business to sneak funds into the country and avoid capital restrictions.

The Customs Administration is scheduled to announce April trade data on Wednesday. Exports in March grew 10 percent from a year earlier and imports rose 14.1 percent.

SAFE said it would finalise the B list and send out the first batch of warnings before May 10.

It also ordered banks in China to adjust their foreign exchange positions to keep in line with regulations and avoid big volatilities.

(Reporting by Langi Chiang and Jonathan Standing; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

FILED UNDER: