Reuters: China Appoints New Head of FX Regulator SAFE

The banking executive, Pan Gongsheng, will oversee the growing foreign exchange market while continuing his post at the People's Bank

China has appointed the deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China to be the new head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), its foreign exchange regulator, Reuters reported today, quoting a local finance news outlet. The central bank declined to comment when contacted by Reuters, reporting that the announcement marks the second senior appointment at the foreign exchange regulator in as many months.

The new appointee is Pan Gongsheng, 52, who will retain his post as deputy governor while fulfilling the position as head of SAFE, an unnamed source told the local lending site Caixin.

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Pan worked at Agricultural Bank of China and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the country’s largest lender, before taking up his role in China’s public sector, namely the People’s Bank of China, according to his biography which is posted on the central bank’s website.

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Pan will replace Yi Gang as head of the foreign exchange regulator, a position he has held since 2009. Mr Yi will remain a deputy governor of the central bank as well as vice minister of Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, according to the report.

Pan’s challenges

Pan’s appointment follows an intensification of capital outflow following a surprise devaluation of the yuan last August. The currency has continued to fall since then, and is currently at a 4.5 year low.

China holds the largest foreign reserves in the world, although these fell by $87.2 billion in November to $3.44 trillion, the lowest level since February 2013 and the third-largest monthly drop on record.

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