China minister brushes off concern over outlook cut

Beijing / Bloomberg

Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei downplayed a decision by Moody’s Investors Service Inc. to cut his country’s credit-rating outlook, saying leaders “didn’t care that much” because the move had little market impact.
The March 2 downgrade didn’t lead to irrational market behavior or aggressive short-selling, Lou said at the China Development Forum, a gathering of world business leaders and Chinese government officials. He noted that the offshore yuan even rose afterwards.
“Internationally there was no ensuing action, for example shorting on China, so we didn’t care that much about it,” Lou said. He was responding to a question from Jin Liqun, the president of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, who asked whether leaders would communicate with ratings agencies after the downgrade.
Lou told the forum that Moody’s was concerned about local-government debt in China and whether the country could carry out promised structural reforms, including getting rid of overcapacity.

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