China has started negotiations for currency swap agreements with the Philippines and Malaysia, Reuters reported, quoting a senior Japanese official in the margins of the Asia- Europe meeting in Copenhagen in June. The agreements would be part of the Chiang Mai initiative, which aims to create a network of currency swap agreements among the Association of South-East Asian Nations plus China, Japan and South Korea. This aims to prevent future financial crises by making foreign exchange reserves available at short notice to any member country whose currency faces speculative attack. Japan is a driving force behind the initiative.
BANKING Bank of China said it achieved a Yn3.53bn profit on its domestic operations, a year-on-year increase of 127 per cent. Profits on its normal business were up 43 per cent to Yn7.16bn. It attributed a surge in its loans to increases in lending for personal consumption and for infrastructure projects. The bank said its total bad loan ratio at end-June was down 2.32 percentage points from the end of last year. China Construction Bank announced a 35 per cent increase in profit to Yn6.15bn. The bank said that income from interest rose after it sold or re-organised loans that been non-performing.
Two of China's smaller commercial banks also reported strong interim profits growth. Shanghai-based Bank of Communications produced a Yn2.98bn profit, up 15 per cent from the same period last year, reported Financial News. President Fang Chengguo said the bank would continue to work hard to attract foreign stakeholders. China Everbright Bank's pre-tax net profit meanwhile was up 40 per cent to Yn1.12bn