China says to promote healthy development of property market

People wearing face masks walk past the headquarters of PBOC
People wearing face masks walk past the headquarters of Chinese central bank People's Bank of China (PBOC), April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

SHANGHAI, Dec 26 (Reuters) - China's central bank has vowed to promote healthy development of the country's real estate market, saying it will safeguard the legal rights of home buyers and better satisfy their reasonable living needs.

The statement from the People's Bank of China (PBOC), made following its fourth-quarter monetary policy committee meeting on Saturday, is the latest sign that Chinese regulators are marginally easing curbs on the property sector to prevent a hard-landing.

Echoing China's annual Central Economic Work Conference held in early December, the PBOC said it will prioritise economic stability, amid an increasingly severe external environment and the unrelenting global pandemic.

"The PBOC...turned more cautious on its growth outlook, indicated an intention to use broad and targeted policy tools to support the real economy in a more pro-active manner, and on the margin eased its tone on the property sector," said analysts at Goldman Sachs in a note on Sunday.

"We expect the central bank to inject more long-term liquidity via RRR cuts and various lending facilities, on-budget fiscal expenditures to be more supportive to growth compared with 2021, and local governments to ease property policies at local levels."

The PBOC said it will keep its monetary policy flexible and appropriate, and liquidity reasonably ample. It will strengthen support to the real economy, with a bias toward small companies.

The central bank reiterated that it will deepen reforms of the forex market and increase the flexibility of the yuan's exchange rate while guiding companies and financial institutions to be "risk neutral".

Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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