Chinese banks look to reduce Europe exposure

30 May 2012

State-owned Chinese banks have decided to reduce their exposure to the ongoing troubles in the eurozone, it has emerged.

According to the Wall Street Journal, financiers such as the Bank of China and the Bank of Communications will scale down their business with counterparts like BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and UBS in the near future.

Officials at the lenders have decided on this policy direction - which will result in them no longer engaging in borrowing and derivatives trading - due to the uncertainty surrounding the European banking system.

However, analysts do not believe this will have a significant impact on Chinese commitment to Europe as derivatives are still not a significant part of financiers' business.

Instead, the move is simply proof that Beijing is eager to take a more proactive role in managing the risks involved with trading partners after being impacted by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

By Claire Archer

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