Domestic credit situation improving, says official
An official from the China Banking Association (CBA) said Monday that the reasoning behind S&P Global Ratings' decision to lower China's credit rating was "too simple and one-sided," noting that the international credit rating agency had neglected the country's capability to contain risks under a different financing structure.
S&P also ignored the fact that China's credit situation is improving, Pan Guangwei, deputy director of the CBA, said at a press conference on Monday, according to a statement on the association's website. "The country's high-quality assets and stable cash flow can cover its debt," he was quoted as saying.
Data from the China Banking Regulatory Commission showed that domestic commercial banks' assets grew 11.5 percent year-on-year to 243.2 trillion yuan (.75 trillion) by the end of the second quarter of this year, and asset quality remains stable, with the nonperforming loan rate at 1.74 percent over the same period.
S&P's move is unfair and unconvincing, Pan said.
On Thursday, S&P lowered China's long-term sovereign credit rating by one notch to A from AA-, citing concerns about increasing economic and financial risks from rising debt.
"The downgrade reflects our assessment that a prolonged period of strong credit growth has increased China's economic and financial risks," S&P said in a statement.
But the Ministry of Finance said on Friday that S&P's decision was a result of international rating agencies' conventional thinking and their misinterpretation of China's economy based on developed countries' experience. It noted this misinterpretation also reflects their ignorance of China's sound economic fundamentals and development potential.
With the implementation of supply-side structural reforms and the country's innovation-driven development strategy, China's economy will show more positive changes in the future, domestic news website ce.cn reported, citing a China CITIC Bank report.
In the first half of this year, China's economic growth rate reached 6.9 percent, and the figure stayed above 6.7 percent for eight consecutive quarters, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
On Monday, S&P also downgraded the credit ratings of 21 centrally administered State-owned enterprises and infrastructure entities, including China Mobile, China National Petroleum Corp and Sinopec Group, domestic financial news site cailianpress.com reported.
According to the report, S&P believes that most of these companies are very likely to gain special support from the central government, and thus their credit ratings vary with the country's sovereign credit rating.