Friday, November 25, 2011

China's RRR

Is China cutting its RRR (Reserve Requirement Ratio)?

This Reuters article dated 24/11/2011 and the one below, seems to suggest that PBoC could be moving in that direction.

Sources told Reuters earlier this week that the central bank had cut the reserve requirement ratio for five banks in the eastern province of Zhejiang, a centre for private enterprise, by 50 basis points to 16 per cent to support the rural economy.
But the Financial News, published by the People's Bank of China, quoted the central bank's Zhejiang branch as saying that the fall in the reserve requirement ratio for six rural banks to 16 per cent had kicked in automatically after a one-year policy plan expired this month.
Some investors had speculated that the adjustment was part of a government campaign to relax monetary policy in some quarters of the economy. The talk gained traction after a manufacturing survey showed output at a 32-month low in November.
The newspaper said the central bank reviewed the third-quarter loan books of rural banks every November, and banks that did not lend freely to farms were punished with a 50-basis-point rise in reserve requirements.
The six banks in question were penalised a year ago and the penalty lapsed in November, the newspaper reported.
'The revision of the reserve requirement ratio of these banks to a normal level should not be interpreted as a cut in their reserve requirements,' the paper said.
But, it must be noted that the "upping" of the RRR last Nov , was to punish these same  rural banks for NOT lending to the farms.

The following 2nd article, again from Reuters, same date, suggests that the cuts in the RRRs may happen, next yr.


China could cut its reserve requirement for all banks in the first three months of 2012, a senior Chinese banker said on Thursday, adding to talk that a fast-cooling world economy may lead Beijing to relax monetary policy.

China's central bank has not metted out any substantive monetary tightening measures since mid-July for fear of crimping economic growth at a time when Europe's debt crisis is hurting exports.
'There is possibility of a cut in the reserve requirement ratio in the first quarter, and the tone of macro policy will change during the central economic work conference,' said Huang Jifa, deputy head of investment banking at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is the world's biggest bank by market value.
The central economic work conference is an annual year-end meeting of top Chinese policy makers where a blue-print of the following year's economic policy plans and targets are decided.
The meeting is expected to be held in coming weeks.
'If policy remains as tight as before, some problems will emerge, including in the property sector,' Mr Huang told reporters on the sidelines of a debt conference in Beijing.
The reserve requirement ratio for China's biggest banks is at a record high of 21.5 per cent and has drawn complaints from bank executives, who say the unduly steep ratio hurts profits by restraining banks' ability to lend.

However, I would not bet on this speculation; simply becos Reuters and many in the biz media has always been wrong-footed by PBoC when they were upping the RRRs.....

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