Foreign Financial Assets of Chinese Banks Totals $1.531 Trillion at End of 2021, Net Foreign Debt at $37.9 Billion

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The foreign financial assets and liabilities of Chinese banks both exceeded USD$1.5 trillion at the end of 2021, according to data released by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) on 24 March.

As of the end of 2021 the foreign financial assets of Chinese banks totalled $1.531 trillion, while foreign liabilities were $1.5689 trillion, for net foreign liabilities of $37.9 billion.

Chinese banks held $1.1101 trillion yuan in foreign depository assets, accounting for 743% of their total foreign financial assets; $225.1 billion in bond assets comprising a 15% share; and $195.8 billion in equity and other assets, accounting for 13%.

$230.4 billion of these assets were denominated in the renminbi, accounting for a 15% share of total foreign financial assets. $1.0152 trillion were denominated the US dollar, accounting for a 66% share, and $285.5 billion, or 19%, were in other currencies.

$845 billion of these assets, or 55% of the total, comprised investments in the offshore banking sector, and $686.1 billion investments in non-banking sectors, for a 45% share.

In terms of Chinese banking sector foreign liabilities, $852.7 billion were deposit liabilities, accounting for 54% of all foreign liabilities, while $322.8 billion were bond liabilities (21%), and $393.4 billion (25%) equity and other liabilities.

$692.9 billion of these liabilities were denominated in the renminbi, for a 44% share of the total, $563.1 billion in the US dollar (36%), and $313.0 billion in other currencies (20%).