Foreign banks in Shanghai see sound development in 2017

Assets of foreign banks in the city saw annual growth of 13 percent in 2017, while their bad loan ratio was lower than the average level, local regulators said.

The assets of foreign banks in the city saw year-on-year growth of 13 percent in 2017, while their bad loan ratio stood lower than the average level of Shanghai's banking sector, the local regulator said today.

Foreign-funded banks in Shanghai recorded a total of 1.56 trillion yuan (US$240 billion) in assets by the end of December 2017, accounting for 10.6 percent of the entire local banking sector.

This represents 13 percent growth of their assets compared with a year ago, according to the latest data released by the Shanghai branch of China Banking Regulatory Commission.

The overall non-performing loan ratio of foreign banks in Shanghai stood at 0.34 percent during the last twelve months, much lower than the industry’s average level of 0.57 percent.

The improved asset quality of foreign market players marked a new low in recent years and was down 0.17 percentage points from the first half of 2017.

The past year saw a deepening of the cooperation between foreign lenders and their Chinese counterparts, with 13 projects totaling 89.5 billion yuan launched with effort from both sides.

By tapping the great potential of the Belt and Road Initiative, foreign banks in Shanghai have lent much support to Chinese enterprises’ “going out" strategies. So far, the credit balance for those clients amounted to 671.7 billion yuan.

Meanwhile, foreign participants also backed the development of local science and technology firms. Data from the watchdog showed that these banks had served 440 high-tech companies by the end of the third quarter of 2017, up by 43.8 percent from the beginning of the year.

The outstanding loans of these enterprises came to more than 14 billion yuan during the same period, up by 53.9 percent compared with the start of 2017.

Shanghai was home to a total of 230 foreign banking institutions from 29 countries and regions by the end of last year, the regulator said.

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