China central bank reaffirms prudent, neutral monetary policy in 2018

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past the headquarters of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, in Beijing, June 21, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s central bank pledged on Tuesday to maintain a prudent and neutral monetary policy this year and keep liquidity reasonably stable.

China also will step up macro-prudential management for shadow banking and real estate financing, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said on its website after concluding an internal work conference.

The central bank also said it would improve internet financial regulation, stating that one of its main tasks for 2018 was to “establish and improve a long-term mechanism for internet financial regulation and risk prevention.”

The PBOC will comprehensively use multiple monetary policy tools and realize reasonable growth in credit and social financing, the statement added.

The regulator also added it will deepen market-based interest rate reforms, fend off systemic financial risks and keep the yuan basically stable this year.

Vice central bank governor Yi Gang said last month that China’s central bank would improve the macro-prudential policy framework and explore ways to include shadow banking, real estate financing and internet financing.

Beijing is in its second year of a deleveraging campaign to reduce financial risks rooted in a rapid build-up in debt and riskier types of financing. But authorities are proceeding cautiously to avoid any sharp blow to economic growth.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Kim Coghill