China to Bring ‘New Ideas’ to Managing Foreign Reserves

The People’s Bank of China said today it will manage the country’s foreign-exchange reserves with “new ideas” and in a more effective manner.

The central bank commented in a statement ahead of a briefing by Governor Zhou Xiaochuan in Beijing. The nation had $3.18 trillion of reserves as of December, the largest in the world.

The statement adds to previous signals by China’s government that it wants to diversify the holdings away from U.S. dollar-denominated assets. The country reduced its holdings of U.S. government securities last year to $1.15 trillion from $1.16 trillion, the first cut since the U.S. Treasury Department began compiling the data in 2001. China doesn’t publicly disclose a breakdown of its reserves.

Premier Wen Jiabao said last month that the nation is willing to get “more deeply” involved in resolving Europe’s debt crisis, although the continent must send a clearer message to show how it’s working to strengthen its finances.

The central bank also said in the statement that it will maintain a prudent monetary policy while fine-tuning and taking preemptive measures as appropriate.

Zhou speaks today at 10 a.m. local time in a press conference as part of the annual gathering of the country’s legislature.

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