Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
China credit market tensions stoke wider concerns
First Published Dec 24 2013 07:55 am • Last Updated Dec 24 2013 07:55 am

Beijing • For the second time in six months, a shortage of cash in one corner of China’s banking industry has stirred anxiety in financial markets.

Though tensions eased somewhat Tuesday following another liquidity injection by the Chinese monetary authorities, financial market analysts keeping a close watch on developments in China’s credit markets. Because China is now the world’s second-largest economy, tensions there could have repercussions worldwide.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"If it looks vulnerable as we start the New Year then the rest of the world should be getting nervous," said Kathleen Brooks, a research director at Forex.com in London. "If China catches a cold this winter, we expect the rest of the financial system to get a dose of the shivers."

On Monday, the interest rate charged on 7-day loans from one bank to another spiked to nearly 9 percent this week, well above the usual 2-3 percent. That came even after the Chinese central bank injected 300 billion yuan ($50 billion) of extra credit into the interbank market last week.

The rate spike doesn’t apply directly to borrowing by companies or households. But it could have repercussions for the world’s second-largest economy if the cash shortage forces banks to restrain commercial lending.

A look at China’s latest credit crunch:

WHAT HAPPENED?

Chinese banks that turned to money markets in recent weeks for extra cash found less than usual. That set off a bidding war that pushed up the rates they had to pay for loans. In response, the central bank injected extra money into the market but rates climbed further. The reasons for the crunch are unclear. Some analysts say it might stem from banks’ end-of-year need for money to balance their books. Many would be borrowing and few lending, leading to a cash shortage.

THE IMPACT

Banks might be forced to reduce lending temporarily if they cannot raise enough cash to satisfy regulatory minimum requirements, though that appears unlikely. That might affect credit to companies and households. The central bank already is taking action to prevent that.


story continues below
story continues below

One short-term impact: The rate spike pushed up the cost of financing stock trades. That caused China’s stock markets to tumble last week.

THE CURRENT STATUS

On Tuesday, the rate banks pay each other for an overnight loan eased to a still-high 4.2 percent, while that for a one-week loan was 6.2 percent, according to the National Interbank Funding Center. Tuesday’s easing came after the People’s Bank of China injected 29 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) into Chinese banks.

WHAT HAPPENED EARLIER?

In June, money markets suffered an even bigger rate spike after the central bank tried to rein in a credit boom. Interest paid by banks for an overnight loan soared to a record 13.4 percent. Analysts said the central bank was at least partly to blame because it failed to make clear how tough its stance would be.

THE WIDER IMPACT

The spikes in June provided another jolt to investors, who were already fretting over waning growth in China. Growth tumbled to a two-decade low of 7.5 percent in the three months ending in June before rebounding to 7.8 percent the following quarter. Analysts say that recovery is likely to fade this quarter or early in 2014.

CHINA’S BANKING INDUSTRY

Some analysts consider China’s state-owned banking industry to be the world’s strongest financially as it avoided the mortgage-related turmoil that battered Western institutions. The four biggest commercial lenders have total assets in excess of $10 trillion.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.