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China vows to roll out market-friendly policies

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BEIJING, March 16 (Reuters) – Chinese Vice Premier Liu He urged government agencies to put in place market-friendly policies, boosting Chinese and Hong Kong stocks on Wednesday.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng index is 9.1%, and the CSI300 Chinese stock index is 4.3%.

Liu’s remarks came a day after shares of Hong Kong-listed mainland companies fell to 2008 lows and Chinese shares plunged to a 21-month low amid concerns about growth and rising of geopolitical tensions.

As for the stability of Hong Kong’s financial market, Chinese and Hong Kong regulators will strengthen coordination, Liu said.

China will do so to invigorate its economy, defuse risks in the real estate sector and promote the healthy development of the economy, Liu was quoted as saying by Xinhua News Agency at a meeting of the State Council Financial Stability and Development Committee.

“All policies that have a significant impact on capital markets should be coordinated with financial management departments in advance to maintain stability and consistency,” Liu said.

The official added that talks between Chinese and US regulators on US-listed Chinese companies have progressed positively and specific cooperation plans are being worked on. He stated that the Government will continue to support local companies that want to list abroad.

Liu also urged financial institutions to support the real economy, and encouraged long-term institutional investors to increase their stock holdings.

In response to Liu’s calls, Guo Shuqing, head of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, urged banks to comment on the financing offer and maintain “proper growth” in new loans.

In addition, Guo pledged to strongly support direct funding, encouraging insurers and wealth management companies to put more into equities.

(Reporting by Kevin Yao and the Beijing Newsroom; Editing in Spanish by Javier Leira)

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