【英语中国】中国央行紧急注资以防“钱荒”重演

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2013-12-21 08:59

小艾摘要: The Chinese central bank has made an emergency money injection after a surge in interbank rates, trying to prevent a repeat of the cash crunch that rattled global markets this year.In a highly unusual ...
The Chinese central bank has made an emergency money injection after a surge in interbank rates, trying to prevent a repeat of the cash crunch that rattled global markets this year.

In a highly unusual move, the People’s Bank of China said it had conducted a “short-term liquidity operation” to provide credit to banks in need of money.

According to the central bank’s own rules, it is only meant to announce SLOs one month after their implementation, but on this occasion it was unwilling to brook such a delay. It used its account on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, yesterday afternoon to tell a jittery market that it had provided banks with the emergency cash.

Chinese money market rates had soared earlier in the day to levels last seen in late June when the country was hit by a liquidity squeeze that alarmed investors around the world about the potential for a financial crisis in China. The seven-day bond repurchase rate, an important gauge of short-term liquidity, rose to nearly 10 per cent as banks hoarded cash.

The central bank also extended trading in the country’s interbank market by 30 minutes yesterday to give financial institutions additional time to line up funds. The central bank last allowed an extended trading session during the June cash crunch.

“It’s very clear they want to calm market fears,” said Zhou Hao, an analyst with ANZ in Shanghai. “The PBoC does not want to see the cash crunch repeated.”

Yet the immediate cause for the sudden panic gripping the market was the central bank itself. Over five consecutive trading sessions, it had refrained from injecting cash in the financial system through its regular open-market operations.

That surprised traders and posed a challenge for banks, which need to refinance a large number of assets before the end of the year.

During the cash crunch in June, central bank officials explained that they had allowed the money market to tighten as a warning to banks to improve their liquidity management. Several banks had become overly reliant on the interbank market as a cheap source of funds and were using the cash to finance risky off-balance sheet loans.

The central bank has since guided money market rates to levels roughly 150 basis points higher than the average before the cash crunch. With China’s stock of credit soaring to about 200 per cent of gross domestic product, from 130 per cent five years ago, analysts believe the government is trying to encourage companies and investors to reduce their debt loads.

“The PBoC wants money market rates to remain relatively high in order to lower leverage and contain financial risks,” said Duan Jihua, deputy general manager of Guohai Securities. “But they won’t push rates so high that it would actually trigger defaults or bankruptcy.”

中国央行在中国的银行间利率飙升后进行了紧急注资操作,试图阻止今年早些时候冲击全球市场的“钱荒”重演。

在一次极不寻常的行动中,中国人民银行称,它已通过“短期流动性调节工具”(SLO),向亟需资金的银行提供了信贷。

根据中国央行自己的规则,它应当在实施SLO操作的一个月后才予以宣布,但这一次它显然不愿忍耐这种迟延。昨日下午,中国央行利用其新浪微博(Weibo,类似于Twitter的微博客平台)账户“央行微播”,告诉紧张不安的市场:它已向相关银行提供了紧急资金。

昨日早些时候,中国货币市场利率飙升至6月下旬以来未见的高位。中国短期流动性的关键指标——7天期质押式回购利率——升至近10%,银行纷纷囤积资金。今年6月下旬,中国遭遇一场流动性紧缺,令世界各地投资者震惊,担心中国可能爆发金融危机。

昨日中国央行还将中国银行间市场交易延长了30分钟,让金融机构有更多时间获得资金。央行上一次延长交易时间是在6月份“钱荒”期间。

“很显然,他们希望消除市场担心,”澳新银行(ANZ)常驻上海的分析师周浩表示。“中国人民银行(PBoC)不想看到钱荒重演。”

然而,引发突如其来的市场恐慌的直接起因正是中国央行。此前央行连续五个交易日没有通过常态化的公开市场操作向金融体系注入资金。

这让交易员们感到意外,并对各银行构成一个挑战,这些银行需要在年底前对大量资产进行再融资。

在6月的“钱荒”期间,中国央行官员解释说,他们有意让货币市场收紧,作为对商业银行的一个警告,要求它们改进流动性管理。此前多家银行变得过于依赖银行间市场,将其视为一个廉价资金来源,并利用这些资金为高风险的表外贷款融资。

自那以来,中国央行将货币市场利率引导至高于“钱荒”之前平均值大约150个基点的水平。鉴于中国的信贷存量已从5年前相当于国内生产总值(GDP)的130%升至GDP的大约200%,分析师们相信,政府正试图鼓励企业和投资者降低各自的债务负担。

“中国人民银行希望货币市场利率保持在相对较高的水平,以便降低杠杆率,遏制金融风险,”国海证券(Guohai Securities)副总经理段吉华表示。“但他们不会把利率推高到足以引发违约或破产的水平。”

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