China's Central Bank Aggressively Injects Liquidity to Ease Market Fears
- China’s central bank added 130 billion yuan ($19.9 billion) in support to financial markets on Tuesday
- Chinese coal firms are facing shutdown with a record debt-to-asset ratio
- China’s bank regulator announced it will allow private capital investment into banks for the first time
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- The central bank of China resumed the reverse repurchase agreement (Repo) program on Tuesday after it was suspended unexpectedly on last Thursday. The total amount of the 7-day reverse Repos made on Tuesday was 130 billion yuan ($19.9 billion), the highest amount since September 2015. It aims to add liquidity into the market.
This is the central bank’s reaction to the stock market plunge after the securities regulator guarantees no extended sell-off in January.
According to reports, the central bank actually withdrew liquidity on a net basis through the month of December. Yet the CNY continued to decline in the face of higher US Federal Reserve interest rates, and strong capital outflows limited liquidity in domestic markets. In an attempt to ease market fears, the PBOC conducted aggressive reverse repo transactions in order to put further liquidity into the system.
The central bank’s action on Tuesday also increased market speculation on additional rate cut before the Chinese New Year (February 8, 2016); liquidity-boosting measures may not be sufficient to ease ongoing liquidity concerns.
- The average debt-to-asset ratio of coal industry in China hit 67.7%, the highest level in 16 years. The coal industry has been in trouble for more than three years. Over 80% of the coal companies had losses in 2015. In the first quarter of 2015, the total amount of account receivable for coal companies was 386.8 billion yuan, a historical record.A lot of companies are going to run out of liquidity soon.
This is a typical example which reveals China’s over-capacity problem. The target of the energy industry in 2016 is to reduce excess production. On one hand, China is promoting the One-Belt-One-Road projects through which excess production can be exported. On the other hand, it is inevitable that in 2016 a significant amount of coal companies, especially the so-called ‘zombie’ firms, will be forced to shut down. An industry so that the production could return to a balanced level.
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- The Chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), Shang Fullin, said that in the 13th Five-Year Plan for China, the bottom line for the banking system is to avoid systematic risks and regional financial risks. As of 2020, the country should achieve the target of establishing a multi-level, widely covered and diversified banking system. The government will continue to promote private investment joining the banking sector such as the establishment of private-owned banks.
In China, the banking sector is strictly controlled with high barriers to entry. Thus the government’s announcement which will allow private capital to invest in banks should be considered a major step towards reform in China’s banking system. It took over 35 years for China to establish the current modern banking system. There are a few key moments: in 1979, the Chinese People’s Bank of China spun off its commercial business and gave it to stated-owned commercial banks. In 1986, China set up the first joint-equity commercial bank—not fully owned by the state. In 2006, after China joined the WTO, China gave foreign banks national treatment so that they could conduct yuan business in the mainland. Allowing private capital investment is a further step under the same strategy.
Five-Year Plan: when China designs a national plan, it uses five years as the time framework. The first Five-Year Plan was from 1953 to 1957. 2016 – 2020 plan is the 13th Five-Year Plan.
Written by Renee Mu, DailyFX Research Team
DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.