China central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan says likely to retire soon


China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said on Thursday (Oct 19) that he is likely to retire soon.
China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said on Thursday (Oct 19) that he is likely to retire soon.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said on Thursday (Oct 19) that he is likely to retire soon, confirming an earlier Reuters report.

"Either way it'll be soon," Mr Zhou said on the sidelines of the 19th Communist Party Congress, when asked whether he would retire this year or next.

Sources with ties to the leadership and close the central bank had told Reuters that Mr Zhou is likely to retire around the time of the annual session of parliament next March.

China's top banking regulator Guo Shuqing and veteran banker Jiang Chaoliang are front runners to succeed Mr Zhou, the country's longest-serving central bank head, according the sources.

On Thursday, Mr Zhou said that China will fend off risks from excessive optimism that could lead to a “Minsky Moment”, adding that corporate debt levels are relatively high and household debt is rising too quickly.

A Minsky Moment is a sudden collapse of asset prices after a long period of growth, sparked by debt or currency pressures. The theory is named after economist Hyman Minsky.

China will control risks from sudden adjustments to asset bubbles and will seriously deal with disguised debt of local government financing vehicles, Mr Zhou said.